Haloragis erecta subsp. erecta


Haloragis: salt grapes
erecta: erect

Common Name(s)

toatoa, fire weed, shrubby Haloragis

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


Haloragis erecta (Murray) Oken subsp. erecta



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


Cercodia erecta Murray, Haloragis colensoi Skottsb.


Endemic. New Zealand: Kermadec, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.


Coastal to montane in forest or scrub. Often on slip scars or colonising recently cleared ground. Often appearing following fire (hence one of the common names).


Perennial herb or subshrub. Stems to c.1 m tall, decumbent to erect, freely branching, 4-angled, glabrous or scabrid. Leaves opposite. Petiole (0.2)-0.5-1.7-(3) cm long. Lamina (12-)15-70(-90) × (3-)-5-25-(-35) mm, lanceolate to elliptic or oblong-elliptic, strongly serrate with teeth to 4 mm long, glabrous or scabridulous; lateral veins obscure; base cuneate to truncate. Dichasia of 3-7 flowers; primary bracts ± serrate. Pedicels 0.5-0.6 mm long, to 1 mm at fruiting, deflexed until anthesis. Flowers 4-merous, often reddish. Sepals 0.8-1.2 mm long, deltoid, erect, persistent. Petals 1.5-.0(-2.5) mm long. Stamens 8. Anthers 1.2-1.7 mm long, oblong, red or yellow, the inner < outer. Ovary 4-celled, ribbed. Stigmas ± pink. Fruit 1.8-3.0 × 1.5-2.5(-4.0) mm (including the usually present, variable, deltoid wings), usually ovoid, rugose or smooth between ribs or wings.

Similar Taxa

None. The Surville Cliffs endemic H. erecta subsp. cartilaginea (Cheeseman) Orchard is scarcely any different. The main differences are its decumbent rather than erect habit and orbicular to broad-ovate leaves. In cultivation plants of this subspecies often become suberect, laxer, and the leaves less harshly scabrid.


Throughout the year

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,Yellow


Throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by cuttings. A somewhat weedy species which often appears following disturbance within forest and scrub, and which can at times appear within unkept gardens and wasteland within urban areas. Some forms are dark purple-red or maroon in colour.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 14

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Fruit are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009)

Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (3 November 2005). Description based on Webb et al. (1988) and observations made from fresh material.

References and further reading

Cunningham, A. 1839: Florae insularum Novae Zelandiae precu
rsor; or a specimen of the botany of the islands of New Zealand. Annals of Natural History 3: 29-34.
Moorfield, J. C. (2005). Te aka : Maori-English, English-Maori dictionary and index.  Pearson Longman:  Auckland, N.Z.
Orchard, A.E. 1975: Taxonomic Revisions in the Family Haloragaceae. I. The Genera Haloragis, Haloragodendron, Glischrocaryon, Meziella and Gonocarpus. Bull.Auckland Inst.Mus. 10: 1-299.
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

Webb, C. J.; Sykes, W. R.; Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. Christchurch, New Zealand, Botany Division, D.S.I.R.


This page last updated on 8 Oct 2014