You will be amazed at the number of native plants living in Centennial Park. If you look hard you will find about 150 different species of native plants in the park. These are listed below. For more detail on each species see the Plant Conservation Network website
2013 saw the most prolific flowering of kiekie in the park for many years.
According to Pat Morton’s notes, this vine only flowers every five to 10 years — so to see multiple flowers this year has been a treat. One kiekie patch on the Kokekohe Track had 15 flowers. Kiekie (Freycinetia banksii) is a many-branched woody vine with tufts of long leaves, highly-valued by Maori for weaving. The spectacular flowers appear at the ends of the tufts. Fruits form later and are prized rat and possum-food, so our fruiting kiekie show pest levels are declining.
Kiekie is dioecious — an individual plant has either male or female flowers. Male kiekie produce beige-brown stamen, enclosed by whitish, succulent and fleshy bracts called tāwhara. Sweet-tasting tawhara were a highly desirable food. Female kiekie develop fruits called ureure which have green remnant flower parts on the surface. These fruits are also surrounded by fleshy bracts but they’re not as luscious as those of the male plants.