Puka

Meryta sinclairii

Puka

ABOUT:
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.

IDENTIFY:     
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.

USE:
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.

PLANT:
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.

SIMILAR TO:     
Akapuka (Griselinia lucida) – similarly a small tree, but leaves not symmetrical. Naturally more common growing as an epiphyte.

MORE INFO:
http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/trees-native-botanical-names-m-to-q/puka-meryta-sinclairii.html
http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=585
http://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/Meryta-sinclairii.htm

 

 

 

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