Montigena novae-zelandiae


Montigena: Mountain-born
novae-zelandiae: of New Zealand

Common Name(s)

scree pea

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

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 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Gradual Decline


2012 - RF, Sp
2009 - RF, Sp


Montigena novae-zelandiaev (Hook.f.) Heenan



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


Swainsona novae-zelandiae Hook.f. var. novae-zelandiae, Swainsona novae-zelandiae var. glabra G.Simpson


South Island, east of Southern Alps.


Subalpine to low alpine, on fine-grained, partially stable and moist greywacke scree, rock debris and gravel slopes. Sometimes in depleted tussock grasslands.


Small woody sub-shrub arising from thin, branched stems that extend to the surface from a deeply buried root stock. Foliage a dull green, leafy tufts, 30-70mm long, 10-60mm wide. Leaves divided, 20-35mm long. Leaflets in 6-10 pairs per leaf, usually folded along the mid-rib; fleshy, grey-green or grey-blue and sometimes flushed red. Flowers in bunches, purplish, clover-pink or golden-brown, arising from axils of older leaves. Seed pods swollen, darkening to orange-red at maturity, grey brown when open. Seeds 10 per pod, 3.5mm long, 3mm wide, brown.

Similar Taxa

None. Large bloated sausage-shaped seed pods, fern-like leaf form.


December - February

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,Violet / Purple


January - April

Propagation Technique

Difficult and should not be removed from the wild.

Chromosome No.

2n = 32

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commericially available.


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 August 2003. Description based on Allan (1961) - as Swainsona novae-zelandiae (see Hooker 1864).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer

Heenan, P. B. 1998: Montigena (Fabaceae), a new genus endemic to New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 36(1): 41-51.

Hooker, J.D. 1864: Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's and Macquarie's Islands.Part I ed. London, Reeve. 392 p

This page last updated on 13 May 2014