Griselinia littoralis is a very hardy evergreen tree that naturally grows to 10-20m. With regular trimming, Griselinea makes a popular and effective hedging shrub. Grows in a range of soil types but prefers well-drained soil in full sun. Can tolerate frost and wind. It is useful in coastal situations (littoralis means shore growing )as it will tolerate frost, rough winds and salt spray. It is also a good upper bank plant for riparian plantings.
The oval leaves are leathery glossy and lush bright green. This plant produces small cream insignificant flowers that attract native pollinators. The tiny green and yellow flowers are also a good source of pollen for bees in the spring. In autumn the female trees have small purple-black fruit which tui eat. It is susceptible to grazing herbivores and predators such as goat, deer, possums and insects. These predators graze on the leaves of this species however Griselinia littoralis is generally a healthy and dense shrub that withstands foraging adequately.
Common nearly everywhere in New Zealand from sea level up to 900 m altitude and ranges from far north to Stewart Island geographically. Griselinia littoralis is particularly abundant in the South Island, where it often starts life as an epiphyte, growing on old fallen logs. It can grow in a wide range of soil types and situations and is particularly tolerant of frost and persistent wind. It will not grow so well on very infertile soils, or in prolonged drought conditions.