Callitriche muelleri


Callitriche: From the Greek kalli 'beautiful' and thrix 'hair', referring to the beautiful stems
muelleri: Named after Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, 19th century German/Australian botanist and founder of the National Herbarium of Victoria

Common Name(s)

Mueller's starwort

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


Callitriche muelleri Sond.



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


Callitriche macropteryx Hegelm., Callitriche microphylla Colenso


Indigenous. In New Zealand known from the Kermadec, Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Also in Australia.


Coastal to montane in damp, muddy ground or in shallow seasonal pools, along lake and stream sides. Often in dense forest.


Short-lived perennial to annual herb forming matted patches. Stems filiform, much-branched, up to 200 mm long when submerged usually much less above water. Leaves on filiform petioles up to 3 mm long; lamina 2-5 x 1-5 mm, bright green, rhomboid to suborbicular, membranous, apex acute, cuneately narrowed to base, margins usually with 1-2 prominent teeth. Flowers in axils, with male and females together or solitary; shortly pedunculate, ebracteate; stamens and styles very hsort. mericarp obovate, laterally compressed, 1.0-1.3 mm long; surfaces dull, reticulate or with a raised central part in each cell, body red-brown, dark red-brown or dark brown or light brown to grey-brown, with a pale orange-yellow to light orange-yellow wing.

Similar Taxa

Not easily confused with other indigenous and naturalised species of Callitriche. The rhomboidal toothed leaves in particular readily distinguishes this species from the others.


October - December


November - March

Propagation Technique

Easily ground from rooted pieces and seed. Can become invasive but makes apleasant ground cove rin shaded, poorly drained soils.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 10

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Mericarps possibly by water and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

References and further reading

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 23 Sep 2014