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NZ Plants

Meryta sinclairii - Three Kings puka, pukanui, puka

Ivy family: Araliaceae

Meryta sinclairii is a striking tree with its large, leathery, paddle-shaped, glossy leaves giving it a very tropical appearance. There are about 27 species of Meryta found in the tropical and subtroptical Pacific. Named after Andrew Sinclair (1794-1861), British physician, naturalist and New Zealand’s second Colonial Secretary.

The only species in New Zealand is endemic to the Three Kings Islands but is commonly found in cultivation.

More on puka: Takana Newsletter


Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: tree up to 8 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 7-9 mm diam.

Leaf form: undivided, oblong to ovate

Sepals: 0

Leaf size: up to 1 m

Petals: 4-5, green

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: sheath

Stamens: 4-5

Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy