Re-establishing a native food source
Dactylanthus taylorii or "pua o te reinga'" meaning 'plant of the underworld' in maori is a unique New Zealand plant as it is our only holo-parastic plant, meaning that it doesn't photosynthesize, instead it gets all its nutrients from its host. This plant can be found on the higher altitudes of Mt Pirongia, living on the roots of several tree species.
Dactylanthus produces huge volumes of nectar and is thought to be an important energy source for our native bats and birds. It once grew throughout New Zealand forests but is now a threatened species. Possums are the main threat to Dactylanthus along with rats and pigs.
Timelapse videos showing the growth of dactylanthus
Dactylanthus nectar flow.
Dactylanthus buds opening
Dactylanthus at site 3