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.