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Kunzea ericoides, commonly known as Kanuka or White Tea Tree, is a native shrub or small tree found in New Zealand. 



  • Size: Kanuka typically grows as a shrub, ranging from 2 to 8 meters in height. It has a bushy and open growth habit.
  • Leaves: The leaves of Kanuka are small, narrow, and needle-like. They are arranged densely along the stems and are usually a dark green color. The leaves may appear silver-gray due to fine hairs covering their surfaces.
  • Flowers: Kanuka produces abundant clusters of small, white to pale pink flowers. The flowers are fragrant and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. They bloom from late spring to summer, creating a beautiful display.
  • Bark: The bark of Kunzea ericoides is rough and fibrous, with a reddish-brown color. As the tree ages, the bark becomes more gnarled and rugged.


Growing Conditions:

  • Climate: Kanuka is well-adapted to a range of climates, including coastal and inland regions of New Zealand. It can tolerate both mild frosts and warm temperatures.
  • Sunlight: Kunzea ericoides thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers a sunny location but can tolerate some shade, although it may become leggy with reduced flowering.
  • Soil: The tree can grow in a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It prefers well-draining soils but can tolerate some moisture. It is often found in acidic or neutral soils.
  • Watering: Kanuka is relatively drought-tolerant once established, but it benefits from regular watering, particularly during dry periods or when newly planted. Avoid overwatering, as it does not tolerate waterlogged soil.
  • Maintenance: This plant is generally low-maintenance. Pruning can be done to maintain its shape, remove dead or crossing branches, or encourage bushier growth. It is recommended to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.


Kunzea ericoides is commonly used in ecological restoration projects, revegetation efforts, and landscaping for its aesthetic appeal, wildlife habitat value, and ability to stabilize soil. It attracts pollinators and provides a food source for birds and insects. Kanuka is a versatile plant that can be grown as a standalone specimen, in hedgerows, or as part of native plant gardens.

Kunzea ericoides, Kanuka

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