Pōhutukawa & Rātā: New Zealand’s Iron-hearted Trees

Author: Philip Simpson
Publication date: November 2005

Out of print.

Pōhutukawa and rātā trees are among New Zealand’s most beloved and recognisable national icons, symbolising summer, nationhood and our unique natural environment.

Pōhutukawa & Rātā: New Zealand's Iron-hearted Trees celebrates these unique trees – their place in the natural world, their importance to Māori, their role in symbolism, art, and design, and their many remarkable uses – as well as the threats they face today from possums, progress and people.

Containing a wealth of research, this book really does contain everything you ever wanted to know about pōhutukawa and rātā, generously illustrated with over 400 archival and contemporary photographs, diagrams, maps and full-colour reproductions of New Zealand artworks.


‘This splendid book’s vast forest of stories is proof that some of New Zealand’s heritage heroes are trees. As much a chronicling of damage and decline, of relationships and restoration as of ecology and evolution, Pōhutukawa and Rātā is a very fine companion for rātā and pōhutukawa’s reddening return.’
– Geoff Park, author

‘A magnificent book.’
– Barbara Mitcalfe, Member Wellington Botanical Society