Scientific name: Astelia fragrans, A. solandri
Maori name: Kakaha, kowharawhara
Other names: Bush lily, Bush flax, Tree bush lily, Perching lily
Grass or similar, other plant
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, exposure, coastal forest garden, coastal and dune garden, small garden or balcony
Astelia is a flax-lookalike. It prefers good drainage and to be kept a bit dry. Often found in forested areas of the forest floor or in the tree canopy in the case of A, solandrii, an epiphytic plant. Esily recognised by its light green long leaves, growing in large tufts of ,15 metre and its large orange fruit during fruiting season. This attractive plant has its large ribbed leaves growing out from the centre of the plant, strecthing outwards in striking manner up to 2 metre. Coloration range from green to sometimes slightly reddish. The flowers range between green and yellowand are highly fragrant. Making this species an attractiv feature in gardens. Plant are separate male and female and female displays the fleshy fruit which is greedily eaten and dispersed by native birds. The fruit on the plant does not stay for very long.
Slight different in apperance is the tree perching Astelia solandrii, that also sometimes can be seen growing on rocks and coastal cliffs. Leaves are more narrow, than A, fragrans and when young almost silvery in its coloration. Flowers can be quite dropping up to a 1meter and in color yellow to pink and in male plants maroon. Fruit is small with a somtimes dull brown or yellow green coloration,
Provides for birds
Provides for lizards
- Clump forming for camouflage and insects
Read more about gardening for lizards.