An evergreen shrub or small tree 15 ft or more high, of dense habit. Leaves 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, obovate to oblong, always narrowed at the base to a stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, leathery, covered beneath with a pale brown or whitish felt, the margins revolute. Flowers unisexual in terminal clusters; males up to ten in each cluster, females up to five; petals strap-shaped, recurved, dark purple. Fruit roundish, dry, 2⁄3 in. across, containing numerous black seeds. Bot. Mag., t. 5978.
Native of the North Island of New Zealand; not hardy at Kew except on a wall, where it makes an interesting evergreen, but does not flower freely.
P. ralphii Kirk – Another New Zealand species, closely related to the above. It differs in its larger, oblong leaves more abruptly narrowed towards the stalk, in their margins not being revolute but flat, and in the smaller fruits.
Both P. ralphii and P. crassifolium are resistant to salt-laden winds and are used as shelter-hedges in the mildest parts.