Common Name: Puriri
Scientific Name: Vitex lucens
Height at Maturity: 20 meters
Time to Maturity: 30-60 years
Growth Rate: Medium
Habitat: Naturally found in coastal and lowland forests in the top half of the North Island. They are now common throughout the North Island, preferring to be growing near water in rich deep fertile soils. Somewhat more hardy once established.
Domesticated Uses: The wood is very strong and durable as it’s part of the teak family. It was logged for fence posts, railway sleepers, ship building and foundations as it can last for 50 years with ground contact without treatment. Deserves a bit more attention than it currently has, makes a good street or park tree.
Medicinal Uses: Historically the leaves where made into a tree for ulcers and sore throats as well as helping with sprains.
Forest Uses: The Puriri co habitat with other broadleafs and podcarps providing ample food sources to the bird life. Often found with Kowhai, Totara, Nikau, Karaka, Miro, Tawa, rimu, Kahikatea and Mamaku.
Flowering: Almost year round flowering, but more so in the Winter! Large colourful flowers ranging from bright pink to dark red.
Fruiting/Nectar: 8+ month fruiting cycle that will fruit heaviest over the summer.
Birds Life: The Berries will last on the tree for up to 8 months making it a wonderful food source for most birds notably the Tui, Bellbirds, Kereru and Saddleback
Planting Instructions: Planting Instructions: Dig the whole twice as wide as the pot is deep. Remove tree from the pot and loosen the roots up is they are tangles. Place in the hole band back fill leaving a ring of higher dirt to capture rainfall. Ensure ample watering once planted. Mulching around the trunk can help a lot. You could consider a mulching mat, or use bark, pea straw etc. Plant after the last frost!