Wahlenbergia violacea


Wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
violacea: violet coloured

Common Name(s)

Violet 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 violacea 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 gracilis sensu Allan nom. inv., Wahlenbergia marginata sensu Tuyn nom. inv., Wahlenbergia marginata var. australis Hatch nom .nud.


Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands. Also Norfolk Island.


Rarely coastal, mostly inland and lowland in scrub or bracken-clothed hills, or thin pasture, usually on clay; rural roadsides, burnt or eroded or disturbed places, often invasive in gardens.


Radicate perennial herb. Stems 100-500 mm tall, slender, erect or decumbent. Leaves oblanceolate to lanceolate to linear, shallowly denticulate to subentire, dark green, the lowermost 2-5 pairs opposite in seedlings and young shoots. Pedicels slender, 30-150 mm long. Flowers self-fertile, glabrous, 5-l8 mm diameter, 2-10 mm long, bright blue-violet, paler outside. Corolla shortly campanulate, bowl-shaped, often with tube distinctly angled at the sinus; tube 1.5 × 3.0 mm to 3 × 4 mm, ¼ to 1/3 length of corolla; corolla lobes ovate, acute, overlapping or touching in open flower, 3 × 2 mm to 7 × 4 mm. Style capitate, thickened, and blue at apex. Stigmas large, often white and fluffy. Calyx lobes glabrous 1.5 × 0.7 mm to 4 × 1 mm narrowly triangular, equal in length to corolla lobe Capsule glabrous obconic, with protruding apical valves. Bud at anther dehiscence tinted blue. Seeds 0.5 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from the other New Zealand radicate Wahlenbergia Roth. by the blue-violet flower colour, shortly campanulate corolla with bowl-shaped tube, and ovate acute corolla lobes, touching or overlapping in the open flower, giving the flower a compact appearance. Usually there are 2-6 pairs of opposite leaves in young shoots and seedlings


November - April

Flower Colours

Blue,Violet / Purple


December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Does best in a sunny situation in well drained soil. In suitable conditions it freely naturalises and can even become weedy.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 72

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