Wahlenbergia albomarginata subsp. laxa


Wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
albomarginata: white-margined
laxa: Slack, loose

Common Name(s)

New Zealand harebell, harebell

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

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 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Wahlenbergia albomarginata subsp. laxa (Simpson) J.A.Petterson



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 Herbs other than Composites


Wahlenbergia laxa G.Simpson, Wahlenbergia pygmaea var. laxa (G.Simpson) Allan


Endemic. New Zealand: South (in wetter areas west of the Main Divide from the North-west Nelson and the Richond Range to Fiordland) and Stewart Island.


Montane to alpine (coastal on Stewart Island). Mountain valleys, lake shores, and herbfield


Perennial herb with radical, rosulate tufts of leaves, sometimes alternate on elongated stems (shade form). Leaves dark green, yellow-green to red green (not drying glaucous), more or less petiolate, dentate to serrate, lamina 10 × 2 to 40 × 10 mm, obovate to oblanceolate, marginal teeth conspicuous, gradually narrowed to petiole as long as the lamina or longer. Flowers insect-pollinated, narrowly campanulate-rotate, corolla pale flax blue to pale blue-violet, often with white zoning and deeper coloured veins, or all white, 10-25 mm diameter, 10-20 mm long, corolla tube 4 × 3 to 10 × 6 mm, lobes 6 × 3 to 12 × 5 mm; style equal in length to corolla tube, lobes 2 or 3. Calyx lobes less than ¼ corolla length; capsule domed cylindric, 6-8 × 4 mm. Seeds 0.5 mm long, ellipsoid, smooth, glossy brown when mature.

Similar Taxa

Allied to subsp. albomarginata from which it is distinguished by the obovate to oblanceolate, dentate to serrate, conspicuously toothed leaves, which do not dry glaucous. Flowering material is similar to subsp. albomarginata except that the flowers are said to be larger and have longer tubes and calyx lobes. The distinctions between subsp. albomarginata and subsp. laxa appear trivial and formal recognition of subsp. laxa seems questionable, requiring further critical study.


November – April

Flower Colours

Blue,Violet / Purple


December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from tip cuttings and the division of whole plants. Fresh seed germinates readily. Being insect-pollinated and having an indigenous pollinator, cultivated plants rarely set seed.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 36

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange 12 June 2007. Description adapted from Petterson (1997).

References and further reading

Petterson, J.A. 1997: Revision of the genus Wahlenbergia (Campanulaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botanv 35: 9-54.

This page last updated on 17 Apr 2014