Wurmbea novae-zelandiae


novae-zelandiae: of New Zealand

Current Conservation Status

2018 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered

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

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered
2009 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable
2004 - Gradual Decline


2012 - DP, RR
2009 - DP, RR


Wurmbea novae-zelandiae (Hook.f. ex Kirk) Lekhak, Survesw. et S.R.Yadav



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

Monocotyledonous Herbs


Anguillaria novae-zelandiae Hook.f., Iphigenia novae-zelandiae (Hook.f.) Baker


Endemic to the North and South Island. In the North Island possibly extinct, having been reported twice from the Maungahararu Range. In the South Island it only occurs east of the main divide from Canterbury to Southland.


Lowland to subalpine swamps, tarns lake margins and in damp seepages within tussock grasslands.


Summer-green, inconspicuous bulbous herb. Plants 30-80(-100) mm tall at flowering. Corm 7(-9) x 5(-8) mm, enclosed in persistant papery sheaths. Stem annual, slender, < leaves. Leaves (1-)2(-3), 20-90(-120) x 1-2(-8) mm, linear, deeply channelled or folded, apex terete. Below the flower are 1 or 2 smaller, green or petalloid bract-like leaves. Flower solitary, terminal. Tepals 3-6, 4-5 x 1.5 - 2 mm, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, similar, white or slightly pink. Stamens 3-6, fused to tepal base. Ovary 2.5 mm diam., subglobose, styles widely divergent, and separating with the valves of the ripe capsules. Capsule 4-6(-10) x 2-3-6 mm, oval, pericarp at first green and fleshy, becoming woody on maturity, splitting into 2-6 wide-spreading valves. Seeds orange-brown, 1 mm diam., globose.

Similar Taxa



November - December

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


January - February

Propagation Technique

Difficult and should not be removed from the wild.


Threatened by wetland modification, drainage, and by the spread of weeds.

Chromosome No.

2n = 20

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


One of New Zealands few indigenous bulb-bearing plants.



Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 August 2003. Description based on Moore & Edgar (1970) - see also de Lange et al. (2010).

References and further reading

de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Wellington, Government Printer

This page last updated on 26 Mar 2019