Mānuka/Kānuka – Spot the difference

Hikurangi Enterprises is working on a high-tech drone multi-spectral imaging systems and a genetics field test but here’s a short visual guide to knowing the difference between kānuka and mānuka…

  Mānuka Kānuka
Flower Colour Pink and/or pure white with short red stamen Creamy with long red stamen
Flower Blossom Solitary Clusters
Flower size >6mm <6mm
Flowering season (Tairāwhiti) October to January November to February
Seed pods Retains pods after seed is shed Sheds pods after seed is shed
Leaf Firm, shorter with sharp pointed tips Soft, longer with round tips
Leaf colour Dull green Bright green
Max. Height 8-10m 30m
Average Height 3m 4-8m
Bark Darker reddish brown, short, papery, rather flaky, often covered in black sooty mould Tawny brown, long, leathery brown strips
Wood colour Dark red Lighter red/brown
Limbs Upright Sprawl far and wide
Life span 30-50 years Up to 150 years
Botanical name Leptospermum scoparium Kunzea ericoides
Common names Mānuka, kahikatoa, manuka myrtle, New Zealand teatree, broom tea-tree, tea tree Kānuka, white mānuka, white tea tree


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