I’ve just completed my pohutukawa stitchery block, number six of the nine New Zealand botanical blocks I’m making. These designs by Jenny Hunter were published in New Zealand Quilter magazine as applique blocks, and I enlarged them a little, and traced them to work as stitcheries.
With it’s glossy green leaves and crimson spiky stamens topped with yellow, these coastal trees really make a statement when they are in flower over Christmas. Known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree, they are an iconic part of a Kiwi summer.
The pohutukawa grows up to 25 metres (82 ft) high, with a spreading, dome-like form. It usually grows as a multi-trunked spreading tree. The tree flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the Southern Hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas tree.