Autumn Colour in Auckland

I’ve heard it said that Auckland isn’t a great climate for amazing displays of autumn colour. While it’s true that we don’t match the spectacular show of Fall colours in Vermont for instance, if you look more closely there are a surprising number of choices. In fact it’s not that we don’t have any autumn colour, it’s simply that our temperate climate encourages the growing of a diverse range of plants and so the oranges, reds and yellows are diluted by lots of green.


The Liquidambar, Liquidambar styraciflua, tops my list and at this time of year, the flashes of red within the suburbs can often be assumed to be an example. Next on my list would be Maples, indeed the three Acer ‘Sango Kaku’ in my garden are glorious right now.

Most often these Maples would be recommended for their bright red new stems but they’re also an excellent small, vase-shaped tree with light lacy leaves turning deep gold at this time of year.

I went for a wander round the garden this morning and realised I grow more trees and shrubs that colour well in Auckland than I thought. Some are a bit more obscure like Lindera obtusiloba, but others like the ubiquitous Mophead Hydrangea can add life to a garden at this time of year.

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