Meryta sinclairii (puka, pukanui)
Meryta sinclairii, commonly known as puka, was originally confined in nature to the Three Kings and Hen and Chicken Islands, but is now widely grown in cultivation. It is one of our most striking trees, being extremely tropical in appearance with erect paddle shaped leaves up to 50cm long and 20cm wide. They are a rich glossy green, paler beneath with prominent veining and wavy margins. Large panicles of yellowish green flowers are produced terminally from spring to autumn. Female trees carry clusters of black fruit that take about a year to ripen. Puka grows into a widespread tree to 5m, although it can be pruned to contain its size it needs a sunny site and reasonable soil, and is frost tender. A really dramatic feature plant and suitable for large containers. Propagation by seed or cuttings.