These mountain beech leaves on Mt Ruapehu are covered in ice. On most New Zealand woody flowering plants, new buds have no protection or only partial protection from freezing. Southern beech trees have many overlapping bud scales which help protect the young leaves. This adaptation allows the trees to grow in cooler upland environments such as Mt Ruapehu.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Astrid van Meeuwen-Dijkgraaf
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