Panax arboreus var. laetus Kirk, Nothopanax laetus (Kirk) Cheeseman, Neopanax laetus (Kirk) Philipson
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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.
2n = 48
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2018 | At Risk – Declining
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: RF
2004 | Gradual Decline
bushy shrub with large hand-shaped leaves on red stalks
Endemic to the northern part of the North Island from Coromandel to inland Gisborne and Taranaki.
Small multi-branched tree to 5 m tall, branchlets brittle. Leaves alternate, leaflets 5-7, palmate, on short petiolules. Petiole to 25 cm long, sheathing branchlet at base, stipules present, purplish red. Petiolules stout, purplish red or leaflets subsessile. Leaflets obovate- to cuneate-oblong, thick and coriaceous, green above, paler below, margin coarsely dentate-serrate in distal half, acute or acuminate to subacute; midveins and main lateral veins obvious above and below; teminal lamina 12-25 x 5-10 cm or more, lateral leaflets smaller. Inflorescence a terminal, compound umbel, flowers sometimes subracemose on secondary rays; primary rays (branchlets) 10-15; 15-20 secondary rays. Calyx truncate or obscurely 5-toothed; petals ovate-oblong, acute. Ovary 2-loculed, each containing 1 ovules; style branches 2, spreading. Fruit fleshy, purple, c. 5 mm diam., laterally compressed, style branches retained on an apical disc. 2 Seeds per fruit, broadly-ovate or oblong, wrinkled, 3.4-4.7(-5.1) mm long.
The dark red petioles and large leaflets of this species are distinctive
(August)-September to November
October to February
Very easy from fresh seed. Can be grown from semi-hardwood cuttings. Very fast growing and tolerant of a wide range of soil types and moisture regimes but dislikes very dry soils. Best in damp soils.
This species is highly palatable to browsing animals. Subsequently it is usually only found in cliff refugia or other similar sites inaccessible to browsing animals. Possums seriously damage plants and have been responsible for its near extinction in some parts.
pseudopanax: False cure
laetus: From the Latin laetus ‘bright’
Where To Buy
Common in cultivation and sold by most plant nurseries.
Notes on taxonomy
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 (1961), Eagle (2006), Webb and Simpson (2001).
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of NZ, Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington, Eagle, A. 2000.
Eagel, A. 2006. 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.