News article

Kahikatea - Another great group! – 3 April 2019

Seed hunting and great observational skills All the close observational work and drawings that this class had done back at school was evident as this class started by sharing with us what they already knew about the kahikatea. To learn more about the mighty kahikatea and other NZ native trees we started by looking closely at different tree leaves. We talked about the different names that kahikatea has - White pine (because of the whiteness of the wood inside the trunk) and Dacrydium dacrydioides - its scientific name meaning “tear shaped seed” and “like a conifer”. The highlight of the walk through the swampy kahikatea forest was finding heaps and heaps of kahikatea fruit, with the black round seed on the outside of the bright red/orange fruit. The students enjoyed collecting these, some to be taken back to the class for observational drawing and the rest for the nursery - thanks for contributing to the work that the community nursery undertakes. The observational skills of this group meant that we also saw tiny fungi, Pokaka seeds, the spores on the underside of fern fronds, ti kouka, shelf fungi, the piwakawaka that followed us, white faced heron feathers and the different smells of the forest. After singing “E tu Kahikatea” to the birds in the middle of the swamp forest we stood still and listened very quietly hearing tui and korimako (bellbird). This class was very very good at being silent. It was a great afternoon I the sunshine with a lovely class of budding botanists.

Bronwyn and Chris