Cursed weed or New Zealand’s own Christmas tree?

IMG_3810Manuka, along with its indigenous cousin, kanuka, have long been referred to as “scrub” by New Zealanders. “Scrub” is a term which infers something diminutive, including small trees or shrubs, and has a nuance of inferiority. As one of the first species to recolonise an area of cleared bush, manuka has long been viewed with loathing by farmers – its vigour and ability to quickly regenerate made it a cursed “weed”.

But, in our back garden, with its fine needle-like leaves, and covered in a shower of delicate, five-petaled flowers and pearl-like buds, it is reminiscent of snow on a small pine tree. In my mind, it is more than worthy of being New Zealand’s answer to the Christmas tree.

One thought on “Cursed weed or New Zealand’s own Christmas tree?

  1. Manuka and Kanuka are precious treasures. Apart from medicinal and health values they are a part of what makes New Zealand. I would love to see see them replace many of the imported plants that are so middle class European in the message the radiate from suburban middle class suburbs, road verges and rural properties. Steep farm hillsides should be replanted with manuka and money made from both the reduction of erosion on the one hand and also the honey and pharmaceutical industries.

Do you have any thoughts about this post or image?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s