Chaerophyllum basicola


Chaerophyllum: From the Greek chairo 'to please' and phyllon 'leaf'

Common Name(s)

none known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical

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 Critical
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered


2012 - CD, RR, St
2009 - CD, RR, St


Chaerophyllum basicola (Heenan et Molloy) K.F.Chung



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Oreomyrrhis basicola Heenan et Molloy


Endemic. South Island where it is known from three sites: northern Otago, at Awahokomo (upper Waitaki Valley), and from Southland at West Dome (southern Eyre Range) and Bald Hill in the Livingstone mountains.


Known only from limestone and ultramafic rock outcrops. On limestone it is a species of sparsely vegetated habitats, including limestone pavement, fissures, talus slopes and eroding exposures of rendzina soil. Within ultramafic habitats it occupies similar situations, such as on gravel pavements and screes.


Short-lived perennial herb arising from slender tap root. Leaves radical, spreading, up to 110 mm long, grey-green to blue-grey; 1(-2) pinnate with 5-8 pairs of primary pinnae. Upper leaf surface glabrous, undersides glabrous to moderately hairy, pinnae linear, entire 2-15 x 0.6-1.6 mm, decreasing in size toward distal end. Peduncles 1-10, slender, 0.7-2.0 mm diam., decumbent, spreading or ascending, sometimes branched, up to 10 mm long, covered in sparse retrorse hairs. Involucre of 4-7 linear bracts; bracts 1.8-2.8 x 0.6-1.5 mm, green, entire, margins ciliate. Pedicels initially 0.4-0.9 mm long, up to 22 mm long in fruit; flowers 7-17, 2.0-3.2 mm diam. Calyx teeth obsolete. Petals 4-5, 0.6-1.2 x 0.7-0.9 mm, ovate, obovate to broadly elliptic, cream. Ovary 2.2-2.3 mm long, concial, styles 0.2-0.3 mm long slender. Filaments 0.3-0.4 mm, white; anthers 0.2-0.3 mm long, faintly rose tinted. Mericarps 4.2-4.9 x 1.2-1.6 mm, oblong, glabrous, matt, olive green. Ribs 5, prominent.

Similar Taxa

Oreomyrrhis basicola is part of the O. rigida (Kirk) Allan complex from which it is best distinguished by the grey-green to blue-green leaves with fewer primary pinnae, which are only occasionally divided into secondary pinnae.


November - January

Flower Colours



January- March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.


It is estimated that there are <1000 plants of O. basicola scattered over three populations. Although the plants produce copious quantities of seed, and seedlings are commonly seen, adult plants tend of die after flowering. Of the three populations, Awahokomo is the most seriously threatened through displacement by introduced weeds. At the other two ultramafic habitats weeds are less of an issue, however, the populations at both sites are considered very small.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Hairy mericarps are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2009). Description based on Heenan & Molloy (2006 - as Oreomyrrhis basicola) - 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.

Heenan, P.B.; Molloy, B.P.J. 2006: A new species of Oreomyrrhis (Apiaceae) from southern South Island, New Zealand, and comparison of its limestone and ultramafic habitats. New Zealand Journal of Botany 44(1): 99-106.

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 31 Jul 2014