Aotearoa New Zealand

New Zealand flora is characterised by a high degree of endemism, with over 80% of species found only in New Zealand. This Collection is lush with unusual forms and textures; a little pocket of exotic rainforest in the heart of Melbourne. The species in this Collection are vulnerable to Melbourne's future climate, so the ongoing performance of these plants aids in research and conservation programs in New Zealand.

The Collection supports:

  • Research and monitoring of plant performance to bolster conservation and science programs in New Zealand.
  • Greater understanding of the considerable endemism of New Zealand plant evolution.
  • Excellent species and specimens for science and research purposes.

Key Plants

Podocarpus totara


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Clianthus puniceus albus

Tairawhiti Ngutukaka - East Coast Kaka beak

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Pseudopanax ferox

Toothed Lancewood

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Fuchsia procumbens

Trailing Fuchsia

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Sophora microphylla


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Muehlenbeckia astonii

Shrubby tororaro

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<em>Podocarpus totara</em>


A majestic forest giant whose attributes of strength, durability and rot-resistance were prized alike by Maori and European settlers (Pakeha) for diverse items and purposes.

Notes from the Curator

The plants in the New Zealand Collection display considerable foliage diversity, beauty and botanical quirks such as heteroblasty (changes from juvenile to adult foliage) and divarication (branching at wide angles). We are currently working hard to increase the amount of wild collected taxa within the collection with an emphasis on climate suitability for Melbourne's predicted future temperatures. The sweeping lawns are a tranquil place to visit to see the unique beauty of these plants, especially the larger canopy trees, tropical looking Nikau palms and iconic cordylines.

Plant: Phormium cookianum.