Azorella macquariensis


macquariensis: From Macquarie Island

Common Name(s)

none known

Current Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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

2004 - Range Restricted


2009 - RR


Azorella macquariensis Orchard



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Azorella selago auctt. non Hook.f.


Endemic to Macquarie Island.


The dominant species of the feldmark vegetation community and also common in other windswept situations. Forming dense, extensive cushions and tight mats through which little other vegetation can penetrate.


Perennial herb forming extensive compact mats, cushions, or in exposed situations button-like balls; main branches prostrate, woody to 5 mm in diameter; lateral shoots erect, herbaceous, freely branched, crowded, 30-150 mm tall, clothed in old leaf remnants. Leaves alternate, imbricate, appressed to stems, persistent; petioles white 3-10 mm long, thickened at apex, 3-5-veinned, with a membranous wing outside the veins, the wings fused to form a sheath around the stem in the lower 1/4-1/2 and produced above to form a very short runcate ridge-like ligule at the base of the lamina; lamina 3-5-partite, lobes divided almost to base of leaves, lanceolate, 1.7-4 x 0.6-1.4 mm, thick and more or less fleshy, acute with a terminal setose apiculum, margins thickened, glabrous or with 1-5 bristle-like hairs 1.4-4 mm long on the undersides. Flowers terminal, solitary or paired, hermaphrodite, peduncles short with the flowers enclosed by the upper leaves. Involucral bracts 2, fused at the base to form a small cup, leaf-like or lanceolate. Sepals 5, 0.5-0.9 mm long white, linear, unequal. Petals 5, 1.5-2 mm long, pale reddish brown, incurved, somewhat cucullate, acute. Stamens 5, 1.7-3 mm long. Styles 2, 0.75-1 mm long, with a swollen stylopodium at the base. Ovary slightly laterally compressed. Fruit yellow-brown, sessile or on a pedicel 1 mm long (so hidden amongst leaves); body of fruit obovoid and slightly flattened laterally 1.3-1.7 x 1-1.5 mm, 0.9-1 mm thick, weakly ribbed, styles persistent, sepals deciduous.

Similar Taxa

Azorella selago Hook.f. which is known from Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen and Heard Islands but not Macquarie A. macquariensis differs from A. selago by its smaller size and leaf shape. The current seasons leaves are 3-lobed compared to the 4-7-lobed seen in A. selago; in A. macquariensis the lobes are divided almost to the leaf base, the apices are acute and bristle-tipped rather than blunt and rounded as in A. selago. The ligule also differs in A. macquariensis in that it is a short, ridge-like truncate or slightly rounded structure while in A. selago it comprises two distinct, rounded auricles. The flowers of A. macquariensis are solitary or rarely paired rather than in groups of 3, the fruits 1.7 cf. 1.7-2 mm long and are sessile or virtually so, therefore they are hidden in the upper leaves rather than exserted from the leaves as in the dsitcntly pedicellate A. selago, finally the sepals are deciduous in A. macquariensis and persistent in A. selago.


December - February

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


January - April

Propagation Technique



None evident. Endemic to Macquarie Island where it is locally common.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available

Cultural Use/Importance

This species is included in the NZPCN Fact Sheets because Macquarie Island is part of the New Zealand Botanical Region. However, Macquarie Island is part of the Australian Territory, and so its administration lies with that nation.


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 November 2008. Description from Orchard (1989).

References and further reading

Orchard, A.E. 1989: Azorella Lamarck (Apiaceae) on Heard and Macquarie Islands, with description of a new species, A. macquariensis. Muelleria 7(1): 15-20.

This page last updated on 29 Aug 2017