Pseudopanax lessonii


Pseudopanax: false cure

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Pseudopanax lessonii (DC.) K.Koch



Brief Description

Coastal tree with fleshy hand-shaped leaves

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Panax lessonii DC.


Endemic. Three Kings to Poverty Bay and northern Taranaki


Coastal forest and scrub


Small tree to 6 m tall; branches stout, with leaves crowded towards tips of branchlets. Leaves alternate, leaflets 3-5, palmate, lateral leaflets smaller; juvenile leaves larger than adult. Petiole to 15 cm long, stout, sheathing stem at base; stipules absent. Leaflets subsessile, terminal leaflet on short petiolule, obovate-cuneate, sinuate-crenate to bluntly serrate in distal half, subacute to obtuse, dark green above, paler beneath, midvein obvious, lateral veins obscure, c. 5-10 x 2-4 cm. Inflorescence a terminal compound umbel; male (staminate) primary rays (branchlets) 4-8 c. 4-5 cm long, flowers racemosely arranged along secondary rays; pistillate (female) primary rays shorter, flowers in irregular umbellules. Petals greenish, acute; anthers on filaments < petals. Ovary 5-loculed, each containing 1 ovule; style branches 5, conate, tips spreading. Fruit fleshy, dark purple, broadly oblong, 7 x 5 mm, style branches retained on an apical disc. 5 Seeds per fruit, narrowly ovate to ovate or oblong, dimpled, 5.5-8.0 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Vegetatively similar to Pseudopanax colensoi which has obviously-toothed leaflets

Flower Colours



Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 48

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Description adapted from Allan (1961), Eagle (2006) and Webb and Simpson (2001).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of NZ, Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington

Eagle, A. 2000. Eagle's complete trees and shrubs of NZ. Te Papa Press, Wellington

Webb, C.J. &  Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch.

This page last updated on 6 Dec 2014