We were very fortunate with the weather at our second planting event this year; this time at Maitahi Scientific Reserve near Okato. The children worked enthusiastically and carefully planting out over 50 koheriki (Scandia rosifolia) in various locations at the reserve. Koheriki has a current conservation status of ‘Threatened- Nationally Critical’ so these plants all grown by Moturoa School children are particularly valuable. We were also able to see the healthy koheriki at the reserve that we planted last year. The children can be very proud of their ongoing contribution to the conservation of this special Taranaki coastal plant. Many thanks go to Wayne (Kaitiaki Whenua) and Taipuni (Toa Taiao) and DOC staff, Ellen and Matt, for their help preparing the planting site, and providing wonderful assistance on the day. It was also great that Wayne was able to tell us about the special cultural connections and history of the reserve and surrounding area. Special thanks also go to Sharon, Catherine and Leah for helping us out with transport and for also providing great support on the day.
The nīkau palm is probably one of the most distinctive, fascinating, and easily recognized plants in the New Zealand bush; and is in fact the most southerly occurring palm in the world. The biggest of the nīkau in our school gardens were planted by Moturoa School children on Arbor Day 2002 and flowered for the first time in 2015. The Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve on Cowling Road in New Plymouth is well worth a visit in order to appreciate the unique beauty of the nīkau in their natural setting.
Moturoa School children have been involved in growing and learning about the Paritutu korokio for a long time. Two Paritutu korokio were planted by children in our school native gardens way back in 1994 and are still in our gardens to this day. This rare, endangered and regionally distinctive plant is a very hardy tangle-branched (divaricating) coastal shrub that as the common name suggests grows naturally on Paritutu Rock. We have many more Paritutu korokio in our garden now which the children can study first hand and they also provide a ready source for cuttings in the Trees for Survival propagation programme. Moturoa School children have grown and planted out many hundreds of this plant over the years and can be very proud of their contribution to the conservation of this unique species form. Practically every shrub in our gardens at the moment is covered in beautiful fragrant bright yellow star-shaped flowers. In a few months these will be followed by an abundance of attractive yellow berry-like fruit.