Crassula manaia


Crassula: From the Latin crassus 'thick', meaning 'rather thick'

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable

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 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable
2004 - Gradual Decline


2012 - DP, EF, RR, Sp
2009 - DP, EF, RR, Sp


Crassula manaia A.P.Druce et Sykes



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




Endemic. Confined to the south Taranaki coast.


Coastal turf and associated fine silts and gravels. Often found mixed through the grass Zoysia minima.


Minute annual to short-lived perennial herb forming small, pale green moss-like diffuse to dense, compact mats. Stems filiform, rooting at nodes, scarcely ascending at tips, much branched. Leaves succulent, fused at base 1-2(-3.5) x 0.6-1 mm, 0.5-0.6 mm thick, elliptic-lanceolate to elliptic-ovate, flat above, convex beneath, apex obtuse to subacute. Flowers soliatry in leaf axils, 4-merous, 1-1.3 mm diam., pedicels < 1 mm elongated to 3 mm at fruiting. Calyx lobes 0.7-1 x 0.4 mm, ovate-lanceolate, ovate-elliptic or broadly ovate, acute to subacute. Petals 0.6-0.9 x 0.3 mm, triangular-ovate, minute, pink, reddish or greenish-white, about length of calyx. Folicle smooth. Seed 0.3-0.35 mm.

Similar Taxa

Similar to C. mataikona with which it sometimes grows. C. mataikona is larger forming more diffuse mats, its stems are ascending to erect from near the base, 10-30 mm tall. The leaves form dense aggregations along portions of otherwise exposed stem, while there are (1-)2 flowers per leaf axil. Flowers often appear densely clustered because of subsidiary leaves, which in turn often bear flowers. C. mataikona seed are slightly larger (0.35-0.43 mm). Both have different nrDNA ITS sequences.


Flowers may be found throughout the year

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


Fruit may be found throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easy from small rooted pieces which readily self-sow and establish themselves if conditions are suitable. Best in a small pot, kept weed free, moist and placed in a sunny place. In some gardens this species has proved very aggressive and has become a weed of gravel driveways and asphalt footpaths.


Extremely vulnerable to habitat loss through the spread of taller, faster growing weeds. Its survival depends entirely on a delicate balance of maintaining some level of disturbance to retain the open coast turf communities it requires and yet not allowing too much disturbance which can easily destroy these sensitive habitats.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute follicles are dispersed by wind and water and possiblty also by attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (28 July 2005). Description based on Druce & Sykes (1988).

References and further reading

Druce, A.P.; Sykes, W. R. 1988: A new species of Crassula L. in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 26: 477-478.

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 3 Jul 2014