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Pseudopanax nigra, commonly known as the Black Mapou or Coastal Five-Finger, is a native shrub or small tree found in New Zealand and is known for its distinctive dark-colored leaves and attractive growth habit. 



  • Growth Habit: Pseudopanax nigra typically grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. It can reach a height of around 2-4 meters and has an upright and bushy growth habit.
  • Leaves: The leaves of the Black Mapou are unique and striking. They are dark green to almost black in color, with a glossy surface. The leaves are large, pinnate, and often have serrated edges, giving them a serrated appearance.
  • Flowers: This plant produces small, cream-colored flowers that are borne in panicles or clusters. The flowers are not particularly showy, but they attract bees and other pollinators.
  • Berries: After flowering, Pseudopanax nigra may develop small, round, black fruit. The fruit is not commonly seen on cultivated plants.


Growing Conditions:


  • Sunlight: Black Mapou 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: Pseudopanax nigra 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-suited for temperate climates and can tolerate light frosts. It is not suitable for extremely cold or freezing temperatures.
  • Maintenance: Black Mapou is generally low-maintenance. Prune as needed to remove any dead or crowded growth and to shape the plant.


Pseudopanax nigra is a popular ornamental plant in New Zealand gardens and landscaping projects due to its unique foliage and attractive growth habit. Its dark-colored leaves make it a striking focal point in garden landscapes, and its upright and bushy growth habit makes it suitable for various garden styles, from native gardens to tropical-themed landscapes. Additionally, its flowers attract pollinators, making it valuable for supporting local wildlife. As a native New Zealand plant, it also contributes to the preservation of local ecosystems and supports native wildlife.

Pseudopanax nigra (Five finger purple)

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