Definition of rata in English:



  • 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.