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Pseudopanax lessonii, commonly known as Five Finger or Whauwhaupaku, is a native shrub or small tree found in New Zealand is known for its distinctive hand-shaped leaves and attractive foliage. 



  • Growth Habit: Pseudopanax lessonii typically grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. It can reach a height of up to 5 meters or more under favorable conditions.
  • Leaves: The leaves of Five Finger are large, compound, and palmate, giving them a hand-like appearance with five finger-like lobes. The leaves are glossy, dark green in color, and have serrated edges.
  • Flowers: This plant produces small, greenish-white flowers that are borne in umbels or clusters. The flowers are not particularly showy but are followed by small, round, black fruit.


Growing Conditions:


  • Sunlight: Pseudopanax lessonii prefers full sun to partial shade. It typically grows well in areas with filtered sunlight, especially in cooler climates.
  • Soil: This plant prefers well-draining, fertile soil. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils.
  • Watering: Five Finger prefers consistent moisture but is relatively drought-tolerant once established. Regular watering during dry spells will help maintain its health and growth.
  • Temperature: This plant is well-adapted to temperate climates and can tolerate light frosts. It is not suitable for extremely cold or freezing temperatures.
  • Maintenance: Pseudopanax lessonii is generally low-maintenance. Prune as needed to remove any dead or crowded growth and to shape the plant.

Five Finger is a popular ornamental plant in New Zealand gardens and landscaping projects due to its unique foliage and interesting growth habit. Its hand-shaped leaves make it a striking focal point in garden landscapes, and its attractive appearance makes it suitable for various garden styles, from native gardens to tropical-themed landscapes. Additionally, the black fruit it produces may be attractive to birds, adding to its value as a plant that supports local wildlife. As a native New Zealand plant, it also contributes to the preservation of local ecosystems and supports native wildlife.

Psedopanax lessonii (Five Finger)

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