Pseudowintera colorata (horopito, pepper tree)
Pseudowintera colorata, commonly known as horopito, is found in forests throughout New Zealand, often as part of regenerating bush. In the garden it grows slowly into a bushy shrub of 2-3m height. The colourful leaves are leathery, narrow and oblong. Fresh growth is red, and mature leaves are yellowish green, often mottled or speckled with red. The leaf undersides are greyish purple and the crushed leaves are aromatic. Horopito makes an interesting and colourful garden plant, and it is worth looking out for strongly coloured forms. It prefers a good soil and although it can tolerate quite dry conditions it does appreciate watering during dry spells. Grows in sun or semi-shade but better foliage colour will be produced in and open situation. Propagation by seed or cuttings.