Kowhai ngutukaka or kakabeak is a shrub found only in New Zealand. It is a member of the pea family and its closest relatives are in Australia. In spring it produces stunning large red flowers which hang in clusters of 15-20 blooms.
It has bright green seedpods which turn brown and split open when dry. These pods contain large numbers of tightly packed small black seeds.
Plants can grow up to 2-3m tall, producing long, trailing stems that form new plants when they come into contact with soil. In this way, one parent plant can cover a large area.
Did you know kakabeak is a member of the pea family and can fix nitrogen? Learn more about this species in this section.
Animals browsing on kakabeak and competition from introduced plants are two of the greatest threats to this species.
Find out about DOC's kakabeak conservation efforts.
Learn ways you can help with kowhai ngutukaka/kakabeak conservation efforts.
For further information or to volunteer your help contact the Kakabeak Recovery Group Leader, Don McLean: