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New Zealand Christmas Tree, Common Pohutakawa, Pohutukawa Tree 'Gala'

Metrosideros excelsa

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Metrosideros (met-roh-SID-er-oss) (Info)
Species: excelsa (ek-SEL-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Gala



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pleasanton, California

San Jose, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 29, 2015, dadhe from Pune
India wrote:

Beautiful tree. Very strong root system. Planting near buildings not recommended. Blooms in X mas time in New Zealand. Hence called NZ X mas tree. Native of NZ. Grows all along North Island coastline. Multiple stems for most natural vaieties. I have one in my garden which is a variety called "Maori Princess". This is an upright growing variety with large orange blossoms.
Very difficult to grow from seeds. Many plants grow in native forest where the seeds fall on ground. You can find the saplings growing in all over you garden if you do not watch it.
Not allowed to cut this tree in NZ as it is a native variety.

Flowers look similar to Bottle Brush.


On Nov 20, 2007, albey30 from Christchurch
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

These plants will grow in zone 9b, and can handle light frosts once established. They grow in exposed coastal areas and are extremely wind tolerant. They need full sun to flower properly. In their native country of New Zealand they occur in a Heat zone of 1 - 3. So i dont know how much more heat they can take ?