Pseudopanax lessonii

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The leaves have 3 to 5 leaflets
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Pseudopanax
P. lessonii
Binomial name
Pseudopanax lessonii
(DC.) K.Koch

Panax lessonii DC.

Pseudopanax lessonii, or houpara, is a New Zealand native tree belonging to the family Araliaceae.


Houpara is a shrub or tree up to 6 m tall, with stout branches. The leaves are crowded towards the tips of branchlets, and are 3- to 5-foliolate. Juvenile plants have larger leaves than adults. The petioles are 5–15 cm long.


Mature tree with fruit

Endemic to New Zealand, Houpara's natural range is coastal forest and scrub on the Three Kings Islands and the North Island as far south as Poverty Bay (38°4′S).


Gold Splash, a variegated cultivar of houpara

Houpara is popular in New Zealand gardens, but is rare in cultivation elsewhere, requiring mild, moist conditions, without extremes of temperature in winter and summer. A number of cultivars have been developed, including 'Gold Splash' which has yellow variegated leaves, and 'Nigra' which has dark purple-brown foliage.


  • Salmon J T, The Native Trees of New Zealand, AH & AW Reed Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand 1973 ISBN 0-589-01340-8

External links[edit]