One of our Hiking Trips in the Puketi Forest is a full day walk. Conservation in the forest is really noticeable now. The Northern Rata (Metrosideros robusta) is flowering again. The Rata is a tall tree, up to 25 m or more tall,which begins its life as an epiphyte.The pseudotrunks, formed by the coalescing of descending roots after the supporting tree has died may be 2 m or more in diameter.
The bark is rough and flaky. The leaves are 2.5 – 5 cm long x 1.5 -2 cm wide,hairless, rounded and a little notched at the tip with the fine vein network clearly visible below. The flowers are red, with stamens 1-1.5 cm long. The capsules are about 7 mm long x 3.5-5 mm wide. The flowers appear during the summer and seeds are released during the following Autumn.