Scientific name: Pseudowintera axillaris
English name: Pepper tree
Other names: Lowland horopito, lowland pepper tree
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, exposure, coastal forest garden
Horopito belongs to of the most primitive families of the flowering plants and endemic to New Zealand. Lowland horopito is regarded as a shrub or a small tree, growing up to 7 metre, however often less. The trunk and branches upright with a dark coloration. Dark green leaves between 6-10cm long and 3-6cm wide with glossy surfaces and a pale underside, creating interesting flashes of colour as plants shakes in the wind. The leaves taste spicy/peppery, but are also antifungal and has been used by maori for a variety of medicinal purposes. Small flowers about 1 cm in a greenish yellow coloration. Growing in groups of 3-10 off the branchlets, they have a faint fragrance. A red fruit is followed in winter or early spring attracting birds.
An ideal garden plant in a urban garden as they do not get too big and need minimal attention. Plant them on the edge of the bush or for a shelter.
Provides for birds