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Plant type Natives, Trees
Plant Uses Border

Best uses

A nice addition to mixed plantings of native plants and great for coastal gardens as long as it not exposed to frost.

Physical characteristics

A small growing, native evergreen tree growing to around 3m tall and 5m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Leaves are dark glossy green, leathery and oval in shape. Tiny yellow flowers are produced in clusters in summer followed by clusters of bright red berries on female trees in autumn.

Preferred site

Well-drained soil in partial to full shade but it will tolerate wind and drought but not frost.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown, plants and plant after autumn rains, when the soil is moist and warm allows trees to establish a good root system well before summer. Planting is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and forming raised beds. Incorporate coarse sand, bark, peat, compost or other organic material to improve soil structure. Before planting ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter bag or pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots or branches and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball to plant in. Long term slow-release fertilisers may be added at this stage. As soil is placed in the prepared hole tread firmly to bring soil in close contact with the root-ball. Unless the soil is very wet, water thoroughly making sure that moisture penetrates to the depth of the root-ball. In windy positions staking may be required. Use wide ties that hold securely without chafing. Tie firmly but allow room for the trunk to increase in girth without constriction. This allows the plant to move a little in the wind encouraging the development of a strong root system without the risk of chafing or root damage.

Maintenance tips

Apply an organic mulch annually to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Feed annually in spring with a balanced fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square metre in spring as new growth begins.

Pests and diseases

Generally trouble free.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Threatened Native Plant Garden

Interesting facts and tips

Can be easily mistaken for another native plant, karaka or Corynocarpus laevigatus, as the two look very similar.