Amongst the showiest of New Zealand shrubs are two species of kākā beak or kōwhai ngutu kākā (Clianthus puniceus and C. maximus), belonging to the bean and pea family (Fabaceae). They are frost-tender plants, confined in nature to the northern half of the North Island. They are now very rare in the wild. Both species were grown by Māori around their pā sites. In the home garden the plants need a sunny spot with good drainage. They are often short-lived, but are easily raised from fresh seed.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith
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