I have to admit that there was once a time that I couldn't tell these two apart - That's why I'm keen to share this information as I think lots of kiwis still lump both of these plants in to the "Ti Tree" category.
There are three simple tricks that I use to tell the two apart
- "Manuka mean, Kanuka Kind" - The Manuka leaves are a bit spiky when you run your hand across them whereas Kanuka is softer to the touch
- Their Habit - Manuka is an out and out shrub, it doesn't grow very tall and remains bushy. Kanuka, however, grows in to quite a tall tree and loses its leaves on the lower levels. It's an important species at setting an initial canopy for larger forest trees to grow up through.
- The flowers - Manuka has larger flowers which are very showy whereas Kanuka has much smaller flowers. Seeing the two alongside each other the difference is quite obvious
Hopefully you can put your plant knowledge to the test with these few tips. Feel free to share any others on our social media, every day is a school day!
Of course we grow both from seed sourced on our farm so if you'd like buy some then get in touch!