Pimelea longifolia


Pimelea: from the Greek pimele, referring to the seeds
longifolia: long leaf

Common Name(s)

Long-leaved pimelea

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Data Deficient
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - PD


Pimelea longifolia Sol. ex Wikstr.



Brief Description

Shrub to 2m tall with reddish twigs bearing pairs of bright green pointed leaves and hairy white flowers inhabiting lowland areas from Auckland to Greymouth. Leaves 40-110mm long by 10-22mm wide. Flowers to 10mm long. Fruit dry, enclosing black seed.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Passerina longifolia Sol. ex Thunb.


Endemic. New Zealand: Great Barrier, North (Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland, Kaimai Range, East Cape, Te Urewera and Tararua Ranges) and South Islands (Durville Island, Marlborough Sounds, north-west Nelson, Buller and Paparoa Ranges)


Coastal to montane. Usually in open sites in forest, on forest margins and in scrub; on or near rock outcrops (especially base-rich rock such as limestone and basalt – but also on acidic rocks such as rhyolite).


A much-branched, erect shrub up to 2 m tall. Branches and branchlets ascending, glabrous except at leaf axils and on receptacles. Node buttresses occupy whole internode, smooth, brown, sometimes prominent after leaf fall on small specimens; internodes 8–14 mm long. Bark ages to grey. Leaves decussate, in distant opposite pairs, ascending to patent or deflexed, on petioles 3–5 mm long. Lamina medium green, yellow-green to dark green, stiff, somewhat leathery, very variable in size and shape on the same plant; largest 40–110 × 10–22 mm, elliptic or ovate, sometimes obovate, oblong or lanceolate; flat, acuminate, base cuneate. Margins slightly thickened and down-turned; midvein prominent abaxially, sunken above; lateral vein pattern camptodromus; stomata on undersides only. Inflorescences many-flowered; pedicels 1–2 mm long, persistent. Involucral bracts four, smaller than or sometimes the same size as largest ordinary leaves (20–40 × 8–10 mm). Plants gynodioecious. Flowers hairy on outside; inside hairless; fragrant, white, flushed rose or completely pink, lower tube often red. Calyx lobes open in salverform fashion. Female tube to 10 mm long, ovary portion 4 mm, calyx lobes 3.2 × 1.8 mm; staminodes short, at mouth of tube. Female tube to 15 mm long, ovary portion 3.5 mm, calyx lobes 5 × 2.5 mm. Anther filaments long, inserted at mouth of tube; anthers yellow. Ovary densely hairy at summit. Fruits ovoid, green, drying brown, 5 mm long. Seeds narrow ovoid, 4.0 ×1.8 mm. Dried hypanthia persistant often dispersing with fruits inside.

Similar Taxa

Very close to P. gnidia (it could be considered as a mostly lowland form of that species) from which it differs by its longer leaves, longer flowers and preference for mostly coastal to lowland habitats. Pimelea gnidia is only coastal in the southern part of its range where P. longifolia is not known. Both species are said to frequently hybridise (see Burrows 2008).


September - April

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


November - June

Propagation Technique

Fickle. Can be grown from cuttings, and occasionally seed germinates in garden conditions. Does best in full sun on a well drained soil. However, even well established plants are prone to sudden collapse.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 36

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


This page last updated on 6 Jan 2019