Herb: Southern Rata
Latin name: Metrosideros umbellata
Synonyms: Metrosideros lucida, Metrosideros umbellatus
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)
Description of the plant:
Habitat of Southern Rata:Lowland to montane, occasionally sub-alpine forests and shrubland, southwards from latitude 36°s, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Other uses of the herb:Plants can be used as a hedge, succeeding in exposed maritime positions. Wood - compact, tough, very strong. Used for ship-making, carpentry etc.
Propagation of Southern Rata:Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage.
Cultivation of the herb:Lowland to montane, occasionally sub-alpine forests and shrubland, southwards from latitude 36°s, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Medicinal use of Southern Rata:None known
Known hazards of Metrosideros umbellata:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.