|Fuchsia excorticata |
(Forst. & Forst. f.) L. f.
|Natural range of Fuchsia excorticata|
Fuchsia excorticata, the New Zealand Fuchsia also known as Kotukutuku, is a New Zealand native tree belonging to the family Onagraceae. It is found commonly throughout New Zealand and as far south as the Auckland Islands. It grows from sea level up to about 1,000 m, particularly alongside creeks and rivers. Kotukutuku are easily recognised in their native environment by the characteristic appearance of their bark, which peels spontaneously, hanging in red papery strips to show a pale bark underneath.
Kotukutuku it is the largest member of the genus Fuchsia, growing to a height of 15 m. The introduction of Common Brushtail Possum to New Zealand has precipitated a serious decline in this species where large concentrations of the possum are present. Kotukutuku appears to be one of the possum's preferred food sources and they will browse individual trees to the point of defoliation and the trees will die. The berry (kōnini) is sweet and juicy, it was also used by European settlers to make jam and puddings.
- Salmon, J. T. (1996) The Native Trees of New Zealand Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0790005034
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