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Originating from New Zealand
Found in lowland forests this is one of nature's curiosities. In its juvenile form - up to the age of about 15 years old, this tree is slender, usually single stemmed, with extremely thin, 1m long, downward pointing, almost black leaves, with a distinctive yellow/orange central ridge. These are soft and leathery, when first produced, becoming jagged and rigid as they age. Very alien. On reaching maturity, lancewood branches and produces much smaller green, leathery leaves.
These trees make stunning vertical accents in the garden and look best when planted in groups. Multi-stems are usually formed when the growing top is damaged, sometimes by hard frosts. It is believed that the lancewoods evolved this unusual growth habit to protect themselves from grazing animals - unappealing leaves for herbivores when small - palatable leaves when tall enough to be out of harm's way.
Eventual mature plant size :