Pseudopanax lessonii ‘Tuatara’

Small shrub to 2m in height with leathery, greeny-purple three-lobed leaves. Good for mild, coastal or urban gardens. Can be grown in a pot. Likes fertile, moist and well drained soil in sun to dappled shade. Good for mild, coastal or urban gardens. Can be grown in a pot.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber


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A small shrub growing to around 2 metres in height, with leathery, greeny-purple three-lobed leaves. This one is really good for mild, coastal or urban gardens and it can also be grown in a pot. So that’s a solid tick for those of you with courtyards and terraces to play with. Another wonderful plant, it’s from New Zealand as so many wonderful things are.

Ah New Zealand…if the antipodes are too far you should really come and visit us instead as we’re only in Sussex, and while the fauna is less exciting (some of the cows are quite pretty) we do have a smashing range of Kiwi natives from the flora side of things. The reason we have so many is because so many of them are just en-pointe perfection for the kind of work we do. Unusual, architectural, fascinating in form and biology and just cracking in terms of their suitability to our climate.

Not many nurseries have them or really know what to do with them frankly, and you just don’t see these very often. That’s what makes them so rewarding to have and to grow, and we love to chuck them in alongside some of the more likely suspects to create genuinely interesting compositions of form and texture: it’s the moments of ‘oooh’ when your eye properly settles on something unfamiliar that we love to encourage. Crown-raised they make very pretty miniature ‘trees’ with a dense cloud-shaped coif of glossy green-purple foliage, softly-rounded and requiring only a minimal haircut from time to time to keep it neat. Super for mid-level height in a composition of shapely architectural forms.

Best positioned in fertile, moist and well-drained soil in sun to dappled shade.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.



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It is an absolutely wonderful treasure trove for any plant lover and we will be back (frequently!) The plants are all in superb condition, with an enormous variety to choose from. The staff are very professional and knowledgable, but also friendly and helpful.