PSEUDOPANAX – NZ Native Puahou – Five-Finger & Horoeka – Lancewood

PSEUDOPANAX laetus - Five-finger

Fast growing and relatively common, the five finger varieties of PSEUDOPANAX – Puahou, are the types of plants you see and appreciate regularly, possibly without ever knowing exactly what they are.  Theirs is a show that can be seen in the wild and then moved to your own setting.  Doing so is rewarded with lushness and a visual energy which is hard to resist. The word PSEUDOPANAX interestingly is Latin for “false ginseng

PSEUDOPANAX laetus - Five-Finger - Puahou

PSEUDOPANAX laetus 35lt - May

There’s a distinctly topical feel to this lush NZ native.  It’s possible from the large, deep green foliage.  With its leathery like appearance it has a gloss, which reflects the light and adds a healthy dose of visual vitality.  Come mid-summer, small white flowers emerge, eventually turning into purple berries which tend to provide irresistibility to birds. Hardy to coastal conditions, this native evergreen will grow inland in Southern NZ, or in warmer garden locations, growing to 3 – 4 metres.

PSEUDOPANAX laetus, 35lt container @ 1.5-1.6m+ (measured from top of bag) – approx 6 year old

also available in 14lt @ 1.2m+

PSEUDOPANAX arboreus - Five-Finger - Puahau

PSEUDOPANAX arboreus 30lt - March

More frost hardy than its cousin – the Pseudopanax laetus, but with the same deep and entrancing dark green foliage, this native thrives in semi-mountainous areas and pretty much everywhere from the coast to alpine lakes.  You can expect the same white flowers and purple berries but it’s that showy glossy foliage which really demands attention when used in screening.  Expect it to grow up to 3 – 4m.

PSEUDOPANAX arboreus, 30lt container @ 1.6-1.8m+ (measured from top of bag) – approx 6 year old

also available in 12lt @ 1.2m

PSEUDOPANAX - Native Lancewood

PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium - Larnachs Castle - January

The most curious looking native trees, and ones which represent the differences between youth and maturity so very well.  Juvenile lancewoods have downward pointing leaves. Then as a mature tree they are upright, with attentive looking leaves which no longer slouch. This weird transformation is known as heteroblasty.  And it’s quite something, in fact, young trees are so different from adults that early botanists believed they were different species.

PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium grouping at Larnachs Castle – Dunedin

PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium - Lancewood - Horoeka

PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium 25lt - May

A most striking plant, famed for its long and slender leaves.  A dark purple, they often appear black.  Their unique downward direction is coupled with a jagged edge to protect the plant from predators.  A job the juvenile tree does well for several years before transforming into its mature, mop-top like appearance. Its distinctive architectural appearance is well suited to contemporary gardens and those wanting to add texture.  Hardy and evergreen, expect it to reach heights up to 4 metres.

PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium, 22lt container @ 2-2.5m+ (measured from top of bag) – approx 7-8 year old)

also available in 8lt @ 1.5-1.8m, – approx 5 year old

PSEUDOPANAX ferox - Sabre-toothed Lancewood - Horoeka

PSEUDOPANAX ferox 25lt - May

The PSEUDOPANAX ferox – Sabre-toothed Lancewood is a slightly smaller compact cousin of the PSEUDOPANAX crassifolium. Unique ‘sabre tooth’ foliage adding interest and texture to your Native collection. Those saw-toothed edge leaves really make for a most unusual sight.  They add colour and texture, working especially well in native and group plantings or to make an architectural statement.  As you might guess from its looks, this Lancewood is hardy and can tolerate exposed conditions.  This evergreen will grow to 3m

 PSEUDOPANAX ferox, 22lt container @ 1.8m+ (measured from top of bag) – approx 7-8 year old

also available in 8lt @ 1-1.3m, – approx 5 year old