Pounamu Rau of the Rock Daisy

The Rock Daisy is the most magnificent of plants.  A native to Aotearoa, it is a daisy that grows on rocks.  Simple eh!

I call it a magnificent plant because it grows in the harshest of environments yet is still so beautiful, and soft.  You will find rock daisies growing on bare limestone cliff faces in some of the hottest and driest places of Aotearoa.  It can tolerate very frosty winters and harsh southerly sea winds coming straight off the Antarctic. In fact the Rock Daisy doesn’t  like still, calm, closed in conditions with heat and humidity combined – the kind of thing most plants love!   Still, under all these harsh conditions, the Rock Daisy adorns the earth with beautiful large white flowers.

However this flowering stage is very short lived, roughly a week, and so the glory of the Rock Daisy really lies in its magnificent leaves.  The leaves are large, leathery and a gorgeous glossy green on the top side.  And underneath you’ll find a lovely white felt that is beautifully soft to the touch.  I assume these characteristics help the plant to retain water and weather the harsh environments they dwell in.  Whatever the purpose, it makes for the most marvellous colourful site on the cliff faces as one travels the coastline.

There is definitely an allegory to be found within the life of this plant; beautiful to look upon and soft to touch because of the hardships it has endured.  Isn’t life like that for some of us, as we are softened and made beautiful by the difficulties we have lived through?   Are there any Rock Daisy’s in your life who are deserving of a little pounamu koha?

  • One of a kind taonga by Timoti
  • Inanga pounamu from Te Tau Ihu
  • 69mm length x 47mm widest point

(plant images from gardenofeaden.blogspot.com and nzseeds.co.nz)



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