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NZ Plants

Pseudopanax lessonii - houpara, coastal five finger

Ivy family: Araliaceae

Pseudopanax lessonii  is shrub or small tree with thick, leathery leaves that are divided into 3-5 leaflets that radiate out from the end of the leaf stalk (petiole). Leaflets are often bluntly toothed toward their tips and are attached directly to the end of the leaf petiole.

An endemic species commonly found in coastal scrub and forest throughout the North Island.

More on houpara: Takana Newsletter


Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: tree up to 6 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 4-6 mm diam.

Leaf form: divided into 3-5 lanceolate leaflets

Sepals: 5, joined

Leaf size: leaflets 2-10 cm

Petals: 5

Leaf arrangement: singly along the stem

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 5

Leaf margin: smooth; juvenile toothed

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy