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Putaputaweta


There is a very popular song beloved by parents of pre-school children that 
begins "There's a putaputaweta in the bush." You get the children to sing 
along with you when you take them on long bush walks, so they don't realise 
how far they are walking!!! The Maori name has a better ring to it for 
little tots to sing than "There's a Carpodetus serratus in the bush..." 
There are 4 growing nicely in my garden at the moment (C. serratus, not 
tots). All have self-seeded from outside the property, and I often find 
small seedlings when doing the weeding. The two larger trees have small 
cream flower buds at the moment near the tops of the trees, so perhaps I'll 
get some seed this year. If so, and Richard has no luck getting seed from 
Otari, I can send some. I can vouch for the very noticeable marbling on the 
young plant leaves.

My trees have never flowered before, and are only a few years old (perhaps 
5 or 6). They seem to grow faster than most other New Zealand native trees 
that I have growing here, and indeed have quickly outgrown imported species 
such as Liquidambar styraciflua which does not seem very happy with the 
soil conditions here and has struggled for 7 years so far.

Tim Dutton
"Raindrops", Main Road North, Kaitoke, Upper Hutt, New Zealand
(Latitude 41? 5' South, Longitude 175? 10' East)

Richard Starkeson wrote:
>The photo  I saw in my guidebook of
> this tree, didn't show the marbling of the leaf however.  I wondered if
> the new leaves just showed the marbling effect more stronly than older
> leaves, or leaves in a mature specimen.  Would really like to find out
> what it is for sure, and possibly obtain seeds for growing it here..

Moira wrote:

>Regarding the tree you enquired about, the ranger seems to have been
>bang on. An alternative name for Putaputaweta is _"Marble Leaf"_.
>As the leaf size you quote is at the lower end of the range it might
>have been a young tree. Juvernile leaves are notably smaller and a bit
>wider than the mature foliage. Foliage is described as dark green with
>lighter marbling, less obvious on older leaves. This marbling must be
>hard to photograph as it doesn't show up in the pics I have. Indeed even
>Audrey Eagle, whose paintings of NZ trees are so excellent also does not
>show it particularly clearly.
<snip>
>The best bet for obtaining seed would be to write to Otari. They are
>usually very obliging. If they have a fruiting specimen, they would
>almost certainly be willing to collect seed for you.





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