Monday, April 2, 2012
In praise of Raupo
My favourite wetland plant is raupo. With its angular form, water reflections and sonasonal changes in colour it is a constant source of fascination to me from a photographic perspective. Many endangered wetland birds such as bittern and Southern crested grebes use raupo. Eels seek rich feeding grounds and shelter in raupo, as do brown trout and a diversity of native fish. To Maori raupo was significant as a food source (the new shoots) and for making a raupo pollen bread, in addition to being used for the contruction of rafts. Today few large stands of raupo remain in lowland environments.