Although it has no official status as such, the Kōwhai is seen as being New Zealand’s national flower. With eight species in the genus Sophora native to New Zealand, these small, woody legumes are trees that can be found throughout the country in many habitats from streamside to forest’s edge to lowland and mountain areas. If found outside of New Zealand, the plants tend to grow only in maritime climates that are mild and temperate. Like many New Zealand species, the trees aid a number of native birds, including the tui, bellbird and kākā. Kōwhai is known for its yellow flowers, which bloom in profusion in spring. And it is the source of its name, for kōwhai is derived from the Maori word for yellow.
This flower was photographed by Roger Sampson at in the Auckland area of New Zealand. Roger is a New Zealand photographer who describes his work as a hobby. “Nature is the star,” he says, “and I just expose nature.” You can find him on Facebook and YouTube.