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Products > Griselinia lucida
Griselinia lucida - Puka

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Cornaceae (Dogwoods)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Griselinia lucida (Puka) - A slow growing attractive tropical-looking open shrub or small tree that typically grows to about 8 to 12 feet tall in cultivation but can exceed 20 feet in habitat. The bright green leathery large leaves are a rounded oblong shape and measure to 7 inches long with unequal leaf halves notable at the base. Plant in full coastal sun, part sun to shade with moderate to occasional irrigation. It has proven hardy to temperatures ranging from 20 to 25F and is tolerant of coastal conditions. A great and interesting shrub or small tree whose bold foliage lends a tropical feel to the garden without requiring the warmer temperatures or even the irrigation typically associated with this type of vegetation. Useful as a specimen plant or trained as an infomal to semi-formal hedge with careful pruning - with its large leaves it should not be sheared. In New Zealand this plant is often seen as an epiphyte in other trees or growing on rocks as a lithophyte in lowland forests and coastal areas through much of the North Island and the northern areas of the South Island. The most common name in New Zealand for this plant is Puka a named given it by the Maori people, the indigenous Polynesians that have inhabited New Zealand since the 13th century but Meryta sinclairii, another plant we grow shares this name. It is also commonly called by the Maori names Akapuka and Akakopuka and by the English name Shining Broadleaf. The name for the genus honors the Italian botanist Francesco Griselini (1717-1787). The specific epithet from the Latin word 'lucidus' meaning "clear", "shining" or "bright" in reference to the bright green foliage of this species.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Griselinia lucida.