Selliera radicans


Selliera: after Sellier
radicans: creeping and rooting

Common Name(s)

Selliera, remuremu, half-star, bonking grass

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


Selliera radicans Cav.



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. New Zealand: Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.


Coastal to alpine. In permanently to seasonally damp, open sites and depressions such as in sand swales, on cliff tops and on talus slopes below these, in coastal turf, in the marginal turf of lake and ponds, in salt pans. Mostly coastal but also recorded from well inland in the South Island and parts of the Central North Island (such as along the shores of Lake Taupo)


Perennial, ± succulent creeping herb forming matted patches up to 1 m or more in diameter. Stems and branches, 1-4 mm diameter, white or yellowish, procumbent (rarely with tips ascendant) held near at or just below substrate surface, widely spreading, rooting at nodes yellowish. Leaves, 1-4 borne in a fascicles along stem, alternate, appressed to ground or ascending, coriaceous, (± succulent (fleshy)), dark green to yellow-green, glabrous, glossy; petioles 4-40 mm long, slender flattened; lamina 3-50 × 1-10 mm, very variable ranging from orbicular, rhomboid through narrowly spathulate, obovate-spathulate, linear-spathulate to linear, base attenuate to truncate, apex obtuse, subacute to acute. Inflorescences single, arising in leaf axils, borne on stout fleshy, bracteate peduncles 4-45 mm, bracts 1.0-2.6 x 0.7-1.3 mm, broadly to narrowly lanceolate, falcate, green, erect; pedicels 1-24 mm long; bracts 0.8-1.0 × 0.6-0.9 mm, subulate-attenuate. Flowers 1-2. Calyx persistent, calyx lobes 1.2-1.6 x 0.7-1.2 mm, linear to narrow-triangular, green, distally flushed red, apex subacute to acute; corolla 4-11 x 8-16 mm; petals 5 fused in proximal part, inner surface white to pale blue, outer white, pinkish-white to pale red; petal segments 3-8 x 1.5-2.4 mm, lanceolate to narrow-oblong, falcate, acute to acuminate. Ovary 1.4-1.9 mm, green, glabrous. Style purple-red, stigma glabrous, orange brown. Stamens 3, orange-brown. Fruit 3.0-6.1 x 2.1-10.0 mm, obovoid to ovoid, truncate, green. Seeds 1.0-1.8 mm long, broadly ovate, broadly elliptic to almost circular, biconvex, pale orange yellow to pale brown, winged, wing 0.1-0.3 mm wide, margin irregular, wrinkled, translucent.

Similar Taxa

Selliera radicans is extremely variable and it warrants further taxonomic investigation. However most forms are distinguished from the from the allied S. rotundifolia with which it grows by the usually rhomboid through narrowly spathulate, obovate-spathulate, linear-spathulate to linear leaves. However forms with orbicular leaves that grow on cliffs along the Whanganui - North Taranaki Coastline are difficult to separate from S. rotundifolia. However, both species can be separated by their seeds (Webb & Simpson 2001), those of S. rotundifolia are 1.0-1.5 mm long (1.0-1.8 mm long in S. radicans). Distinction from S. microphlla is less clear, although Webb & Simpson (2001) note that seeds of S. microphylla have a narrower wing (< 0.1 mm wide). Cytologically there is some support for S. microphylla (see de Lange & Rolfe 2010) but this needs further investigation.


August - April

Flower Colours



October - June

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Does best in a permanently damp site in full sun. Not particularly fussy about soil fertility. Selliera makes an excellent "no-mow" lawn. As a species Selliera is extremely variable and some critical selection of this diversity by horticulturists is needed to find the best forms suited to cultivation.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 16

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family





Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 28 June 2012. Description from herbarium material and fresh plants except for the seed description which is modified from Webb & Simpson (2001). Common name 'half-star' added by C C Ogle 24 Oct 2019

References and further reading

de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R. 2010: New Zealand Indigenous Vascular Plant Checklist. Wellington, New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. 164pp.

Duguid, F. 1985. Selliera radicans with regular corolla. Wellington Botanical Society Bulletin, 42: 84 

Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2001: Seeds of New Zealand gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Christchurch, The Caxton Press. 428 p.

This page last updated on 24 Oct 2019