Kowhai gold

There is warmth in the sunshine and the days are getting longer and suddenly it's as if everything is bursting with energy (including the wind!)  It's a bit like cooking popcorn - there doesn't seem to be much happening in the pot, then there are a few ping ping ping noises as some corn pops and hits the lid, then suddenly there is a burst of popping and pinging, and the pot is full of the froth of popcorn.  Well, all around is the froth of spring - bright pinks and yellows and blues of spring flowers, and the rather acid green of new leaves on some of the deciduous trees. 

New Zealand native plants tend to have less showy flowers than introduced plants, but the kowhai is gloriously golden. 

There are a number of species of kowhai and many cultivars, and I am unsure about identifying them.  Some are small trees and others are more shrubby, some are semi-deciduous and flower when there are few leaves in evidence.  The most dramatic time is in spring, when trees are laden with clusters of golden flowers - and because the spring winds are ferocious, this means there are soon golden carpets under the trees, and dangling from the branches are the developing seedpods that remind us this is a leguminous tree - they look a bit like pea pods.  And keeping the colour theme, they even have golden seeds!