Common name: white kākābeak, kōwhai ngutukākā, parrot’s beak, parrot’s bill, lobster claw
kākābeak are a genus of flowering plants in the legume family. The genus comprises only two species both of which are endemic to the North Island of NZ. Both species ( C. maximus, and C. puniceus) are shrubby plants with spreading branches up to 2 meters high. They usually flower from spring through to early summer.
Being members of the legume family plants are able to fix nitrogen. They were used for this affect in some traditional Māori kūmara plantations. Flowers were also used for elaborate garlands for high-ranking women.
Both species of kākābeak are endangered in the wild. Cultivated plants are now widely planted in gardens.
White kākābeak is a rare form of C. puniceus. The large beak like flowers are a rich creamy white. They are stunning against the green foliage. Plants will grow up to 2 meters .They are best in sun or light shade with protection from frosts and snails when young. Prune to shape.
- Ht: 2 x 2 meters
- Sun to light shade
- Good drainage
- Tender while young
- 1.25 litre pot