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Wind your mind up into a small ball and unfurl your inner eye for a refreshing break, and a look at a lovely New Zealand native shrub, Houpara Cyril Watson (Pseudopanax lessonii). This hybrid is a perimeter space-filler, a deliverer of rich lush green in landscapes. You’ll find it just behind the coastline in forests languidly accepting the sun’s dappled reach, as well as out in the fiery sun. Cyril Watson is so attractive, that it has found its way into gardens, and patio planters all over the North Island, and even as far south, if conditions allow, as Christchurch despite its natural habitat from the Three Kings to North Taranaki. It’s a winner and a hardy survivor in all but severe frost conditions.

Houpara Cyril Watson is a small spreading shrub with a bushy
growth habit which grows steadily
to 2m high by approx. 2m wide in ten years and up to 3m tall. The thickish coriaceous leaves are apple-green and in mature shrubs, are comprised of three-to-five fingered broadly serrated leaflets with an obvious mid-rib and barely visible lateral ribs. 

Inflorescences grow from the tips of branchlets. P. lessonii are dioecious so male and female flowers grow on separate shrubs, and usually bloom from December to February. The flowers are yellow-green and inconspicuous, but even though they are unscented, they are very attractive to insects and Houpara Cyril Watson will be found humming with bees in January. 

Fruit ripens to ovoid deep purple or black fleshy berries over June and July, with each berry carrying five seeds. They are a welcome source of feed for birds at this time of year.

This attractive evergreen native will not tolerate heavy frost but is hardy and will sustain strong wind. It is also drought hardy so makes an excellent choice for exposed coastal situations, and provides a beautiful contrast in native gardens.

$125 each

Other Pseudopanax in takana stock:


(Pseudopanax lessonii)

A small spreading coastal tree with steady growth to 3m by ten years, up to a maximum of 5m. Has attractive lush evergreen foliage, with bright green new growth. The little black seeds attract small birds. Natural habitat is from Gisborne, north. Is hardy and tolerates wind, salt, and minor droughts. An excellent species in tough, dry, sandy conditions.

$110 each

Houpara Sabre

(Pseudopanax lessonii)

A small narrower Pseudopanax coastal shrub with steady growth to 3m by ten years, and up to a maximum of 5m. Has long narrow dark-green leather-like leaves with orange mid-ribs aimed at the ground from upright branches.  Its natural habitat is coastal from Gisborne, north. Houpara Sabre is hardy and tolerates wind, salt, and minor drought, and makes a good choice for narrow sites.

$110 each

Houpara Cyril Watson is a natural hybrid variety of P. lessonii and popular in gardens where great height is not wanted. It is a most attractive patio plant in large tubs.

  • Ideal mixed with other Pseudopanax to produce an elegant native environment
  • Will not outgrow its site

  • Berries are a good food source for native birds

  • Small birds flock for the seed
  • Does well in full sun or dappled light situations but young exposed leaf may burn in high sun
  • Sustains dry between waterings but is happiest in free-draining soil with moist conditions

  • Drought resistant and generally tough

  • Collect seed in June and July when berries are ripe
For price and availability list
* All prices are exclusive of GST

102 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana

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51 Sylvan Avenue
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