One of the most beautiful members of the myrtle family, this lovely shrub/tree has oblong, leathery leaves which are covered in dense white hairs underneath, the vivid, paintbrush-like, crimson-red blossoms appearing around December in New Zealand in the southern hemisphere, (and June in the northern hemisphere) hence the "Christmas" in the name. These plants are extremely tough, especially in coastal conditions on dry rocky shores. In cooler climates they make excellent pot plants when they will flower when quite small specimens.
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 15 and 20 degrees C. Germination usually occurs within 4 to 6 weeks although some seeds may take much longer.
Common name:Phutukawa, New Zealand Christmas Tree, Metrosideros tomentosa
Classification:Half hardy tree, Half hardy shrub