As the name suggests mākaka is a relatively common shrub or small tree that is found throughout New Zealand apart from the deep south. Although in Te Manahuna / the Mackenzie Basin it is less common than the other shrubby “desert’ broom (Carmichaelia petriei).
It thrives on river terraces, rock outcrops, stream banks, tussock grassland and on the edge of swamps. It is a hardy fast growing species which has flattened stems instead of leaves to catch the sunlight.
From October to February it has pretty purple and white flowers. Mākaka has yellow or red seed pods from November to May. These pods burst with the seed travelling short distances.
Te Manahuna Aoraki Project has tagged 90 mākaka on the Tasman riverbed. We will monitor these over four years to guage the impact rabbit control has on the species. This outcome monitoring is funded by Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand through its Jobs for Nature funding.
Photos : Dean Nelson