New Zealand is home to a unique variety of flora and fauna which have adapted and evolved over millions of years thanks to our down-under location and being surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of open water. With few neighbours to share species with, over 80% of our flora classed as ‘endemic’ or native.
New Zealand’s plants have adapted to fit our unique climate, landscape, and wildlife; therefore, there are a few key differences which set our flora apart from the rest of the world. New Zealand’s unique array of animals have influenced plant life. Unlike those from other countries, some of New Zealand’s plants rely on small, short-tongued pollinators such as bees, beetles, and flies, rather than the birds, butterflies and long-tongued bees found elsewhere, and the flowers have adapted as required.
The mānuka plant is a perfect example of this adaptation – the mānuka flowers are small, white, scented and of a simple structure to allow for easy pollination.
Thanks to our lack of wildfires, most native trees have evolved without the thick bark and large roots needed for protection from fire. Mānuka is one of the only plants prepared, with hardy bark and wood and a knack for regeneration.