Story: Shrubs and small trees of the forest

Growth forms of lancewood

One of the oddities in New Zealand’s forest is horoeka – the lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolius). Beginning life as a single-stemmed plant with one-metre-long stiff, drooping leaves, it changes when its growing tip is about three metres above the ground. The plant begins to branch and develops short (20 centimetre), upright leaves. The adult tree grows to about 15 metres tall and supports a many-branched, rounded crown of short, leathery leaves.

Click to see different stages of lancewood's growth.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Maggy Wassilieff

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Shrubs and small trees of the forest - Species with juvenile and adult forms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 July 2022)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015