the colour of efficiency
Have you ever noticed how kōtukutuku - our native tree fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata) - produces flowers of two different colours? This is because it colour-codes its petals to allow for maximum pollination efficiency.
The green flowers let birds know that nectar is available, whereas a reddish flower tells the birds not to bother visiting. Why do the flowers stop producing nectar? Well, the trees don’t want to waste energy providing a food-source if the flower is already pollinated!
Did you also know… because kōtukutuku are pollinated by birds they benefit considerably from pest-control.
Written by Ali McDonald, volunteer Sanctuary Storyteller
Main photo credit: Janice McKenna, volunteer Sanctuary Storyteller