View this email in your browser

Have a break and realign your focus for a couple of minutes to a most attractive New Zealand native shrub which can grow into small tree. In the wild Akapuka (Griselinia lucida) usually gets a start as an epiphyte, but on the ground the amazing nutrient-seeking capacities of this shrub find it perched on cliffs and rocky outcrops and on Rangitoto Island, it grows directly on the volcanic rock.

Akapuka is a generally sturdy spreading coastal shrub growing up to 6m tall with steady growth producing 3m height within ten years. Usually multileader and bushy, it will gradually shed leaders and grow taller on one or two trunks.  The thick glossy bright green oval leaves make a large lush verdant cover for them.

This hardy shrub flowers in October through to December. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants (dioecious), and appear as inflorescences (multiple flowers on a branched stem). Male inflorescences have yellowish five-petalled tiny flowers on a 10cm stem and are longer than female inflorescences which have minute non-petalled flowers. 

The dark purple fruit (7mm by 5mm) ripens from December to August and consists of a single tough seed inside a fleshy covering. Birds waste no time with this harvest and eat their fill, unwittingly becoming the dominant method of seed dispersal.

This dispersal method suits Griselinia lucida very well since it most often starts life as an epiphyte nestled into a tree hollow very high up – usually puriri, hinau, tawa, kahikatea, kohekohe and even Ti Kouka. The seeds germinate in small moist hollows on their host and take up the nutrients available in their little nooks. Once it’s settled the seedling sends roots to the ground. Roots have distinctive parallel ridging on them and they may be as much as 10-20cm in diameter. In order to remain stable, the seedling also sends out horizontal roots to encircle its host and better anchor itself. Akapuka also grows very happily in the ground and in the wild it is most often found on bluffs and other rocky formations, growing on these sites into its largest proportions. On such sites Akapuka establishes a net-like root system on the surface extending into crevices and if within range, to soil.

You’ll find this rugged shrub on coastal lowlands up to 500m, and while it’s distributed across both main islands, it tends to be quite localised. It tolerates wind, salt, moderate frost and dry spells.

This handsome tropical-looking shrub adores equally full sun, or shade. When grown on good soil it can establish a straggly habit but judicious pruning controls this. 

  $60 each              $95 each

The genus Griseliniaceae was named after the Venetian botanist, Francesco Griselini (1717-1783). He was an enlightened man who combined the studies of economy and natural history. In 1766 he published an open letter announcing that the first imperative of any government seeking to enrich a nation was the knowledge of natural resources; to know what primary products or materials were abundant, scarce or lacking. (Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment - Larry Wolff). Lucida means bright, or shining, just as the leaves of Griselinia lucida are.

  • It’s thought Maori may have used Akapuka as a general tonic, and as a metabolic regulator.
  • The inner bark was thought to have soothing properties, for skin rashes and eruptions (Stark 1979). 
  • Maori also used the tough wood of G. lucida for making cartridge holders (Best 1907).
  • Griselinia lucida wood is brownish, heavy, compact, and heard-wearing.
  • The timber is not often big enough but trunks and branches have been used in the past for fence posts and in millwrights work.
  • Akapuka leaves and buds are attractive to North Island Kokako which graze on them.
  • The shrub can also be attractive to Puriri moth (Aenetus virescens)which burrows in and feeds on it.
  • When starting as an epiphyte, Akapuka often gets a grip within asteliad nests in the forks of trees. They are not parasites, rather seeking a perch, and don’t kill their host.
  • Asteliads are a generally epiphytic group of plants.
  • Griselinia Lucida  is popular in gardens, and makes a very beautiful specimen.
  • Propagation is simply achieved by sowing seed .
  • Store seed in cool damp peat for two weeks before sowing.
  • Cuttings can be taken from juvenile stock and treated with semi-hardwood hormone and bottom heat.
For price and availability list
* All prices are exclusive of GST

102 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana

Copyright © 2020 Takana Native Tree Nursery, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Takana Native Tree Nursery
51 Sylvan Avenue
Auckland, Auckland -
New Zealand

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.