Pukatea, Laurelia novae-zelandiae

Laurelia novae-zelandiae is a evergreen tree species. The plant may also be referred to as Pukatea. The species comes from the Atherospermataceae family. L. novae-zelandiae can be found growing naturally only in the forests of New Zealand.

Laurelia novae-zelandiae plants typically grow up to 131 feet tall. The species is found commonly growing in swamp or shallow soiled areas and a specialized root structure, known as pneumatophores, assists with respiration in the waterlogged, muddy ground. The plant’s leaves grow approximately 2.4 inches long and have deeply jagged edges. Its leaves have a glossy texture and are dark green in color, its underside is a fairly lighter green shade. Flowers bloom and occur in small racemes or flower clusters. Its flowers are very small and come in white or yellow hues. The flowers develop nectar that gathers at its base and attracts bees, blowflies, small animals and Bombyliidae species that pollinate. Seeds are stored in tiny pear-shaped fruit that the species develops.

Image Caption: Pukatea (Laurelia novae-zelandiae). Credit: Rudolph89/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)