One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large New Zealand tree of the myrtle family, with crimson flowers and hard red timber.
Genus Metrosideros, family Myrtaceae: several species, in particular M. robusta
- ‘The Southern rata, although rare in Canterbury, is present in this reserve.’
- ‘The rata trees in flower, the birds, the brushing of wet fern against my bare legs as I climbed over ridges on rainy days, chasing wild pigs.’
- ‘If you are lucky enough to visit in the summer when the rata is flowering the deep green vegetation is brightened by patches of rich red.’
- ‘We were too early to see the rata in flower but clematis was in bloom at many points along the track.’
- ‘In January and February you may see rata flowering in one of the bays.’
- ‘The rata trees bloomed scarlet and the rivers glowed turquoise, infused with glacial silt.’
Late 18th century: from Maori.
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