Pseudopanax: false cure
arboreus: From the Latin arbor 'tree', meaning tree-like
Fivefinger, five finger, whauwhaupaku
Pseudopanax arboreus (L.f.) Allan
Small bushy tree with glossy green fleshy toothed leaves arranged in fans of 5 (occ. up to 7) leaflets. Fruit purple, in obvious clusters
Vascular - Native
Panax arboreus Murray, Panax arboreus Murray var. arboreus, Neopanax arboreus (Murray) Philipson var. arboreus, Pseudopanax arboreus (Murray) Philipson
Endemic. Widespread (though rare in Central Otago). North and South Islands
Coastal to montane (10-750 m a.s.l.). Moist broadleaf forest. Frequently epiphytic. A frequent component of secondary forest. Streamsides and forest margins.
Us. Dioecious. Small multi-branched tree to 8 m tall, branches and branchlets brittle. Leaves alternate, leaflets 5-7 (us. 5), palmate. Petioles c. 15-20 cm long, sheathing branchlet at base. Petiolules c. 3-5 cm long, pale green. Leaflets obovate-oblong to oblong-cuneate, thinly coriaceous, coarsely serrate-dentate, acute or acuminate to obtuse; midveins and main lateral veins obvious above and below; teminal lamina 10-20 x 4-7 cm. Inflorescence and panicle, terminal, compound; flowers usually unisexual; 8-20 primary rays (branchlets), up to 10 cm long; 15-20 secondary rays; umbellules with 10-15 flowers in each. Calyx truncate or obscurely 5-toothed; flowers c. 5 mm diam., sweet-scented; petals 5, white to pink flushed, ovate to triangular, acute; stamens 5, obvious, filaments c. = petals; ovary 2-loculed, each containing 1(-2) ovules; style branches 2, spreading. Fruit fleshy, 5-8 mm diam., style branches retained on an apical disc, very dark purple, laterally compressed. Seeds 2(-3) per fruit, wrinkled, 3-6 mm long.
Similar to other Pseudopanax species, but has a greater number of leaflets borne on distinct petiolules. Vegetatively similar to Schefflera digitata (pate) which has thinner, finely serrate and larger leaflets with usually 7 leaflets per leaf.
June to August
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
Red / Pink
August to February
Easy from fresh, cleaned, seed
Not Threatened. In places the petiolules of Pseudopanax arboreus (and other fleshy-leaved Pseudopanax species) are a conspicuous element of possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) diet and the forest floor can become littered with discarded leaflets.
2n = 48
Where To Buy
Can be purchased from Oratia Native Plant Nurseries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This species was transferred back to Neopanax Allan by: Frodin, D.G.; Govaerts, R. 2003: World Checklist and Bibliography of Araliaceae, The Cromwell Press, European Union.
Description adapted from Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of NZ, Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington and Webb, C.J. & Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
This page last updated on 15 May 2013