Large, bold leaves give this one a tropical appearance. Puka is a small tree with a rounded crown. Insignificant flowers attract lots of insects, and the purple-black fruit is a favourite of the Kereru (native pigeon).
Puka was occasionally used by Māori to produce abortion.
5m x 4m. Glossy, leathery leaves that set this native apart with a tropical look. Wavy leaf edges, and strong pale veins in through the leaf.
Good on coastal sites, or anywhere frost-free. Great for a tropical look, or contrasting against vertical elements. Creates a good visual barrier between outdoor rooms. Only naturally found on off-shore islands, so not for mainland revegetation.
Hardy to heat, salt winds, and cold temperatures, but won’t withstand frost. Leaves are smaller when less water is available. Does not like over-watering, as this encourages fungal problems. Grows taller in a sunny spot.
Akapuka (Griselinia lucida) – similarly a small tree, but leaves not symmetrical. Naturally more common growing as an epiphyte.