Native plants


Scientific name: Rhopalostylis sapida

Tree (under 10m) - native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, small garden or balcony, wetlands and water features

About Nikau

New Zealands only native palm and one of our best known iconic species. This attractive palm, should be in every garden. Its easily regogniced by its erect circular trunk  which is ringed with evenly spaced scars from previous leaves. The often upright standing fronds can grow up to 3 metre with a darn green coloration in older leaves. Plants are slow growing and produces after 15 years or so in age beautiful pink or lilac flowers sticky and sweet off nectar attracting geckos and insects, especially native bees, but it does attracts some birds like tui and silvereyes too. The flowers is attached in multiple spikes at the top of trunk before the leaves. Flowering can occur throughout the entire year in some places.

The flower is followed by a bright red fruits taking a year to ripe and are an important source of food for the wood pigeon, kereru and kaka who will also disperse the seed. A kereru can eat over 75 fruits in 5 minutes.

Easy too look after but young plants need shade and moist soil. Tolerates wind and is frost hardy.

Provides for birds

  Nectar Fruit Seeds
Key . . .

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Read more about gardening for birds or see full nectar calendar.

Provides for lizards

  • Nectar
  • Fruit

Read more about gardening for lizards.

More detail