Posted on 27th May, 2020
Tecomanthe speciosa // Akapukaea - Three kings Island climber.
Found my first flowers on a baby Tecomanthe planted last year - is there anything cooler than a plants very first flowers?
This vigorous twining woody climber is endemic to the Great Island - Manawa Tawhi part of the Three Kings Islands. It has gorgeous large tropical leaves and long tubular cream coloured flowers that grow directly from the stem.
First discovered by western science in 1945 at the Three Kings there is now only a single specimen left in the wild. However it is a success story for endangered plants as it is now wide spread in cultivation, ensuring its survival.
These extremely cool (and large for New Zealand) flowers appear to be adapted to be pollinated by bats! Despite the fact that bats are not part of the present-day fauna of the Three Kings Islands (though they may once have been present). Nevertheless, plants in cultivation are readily pollinated by native and exotic birds, we even had Kaka hanging around drinking the nectar here at Tawapou.
Tecomanthe require warm conditions, are very sensitive to frost, does well in dry soil and shade/ semi - shade.
Have you seen these in flower around or in your garden? Send us a pic!! We would love to see some more.
Visit Tecomanthe speciosa for more info and to check availability.
Hope you enjoyed this little blog post stay tuned for more,