Centrolepis strigosa


Centrolepis: pointed scale

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2018 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered

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

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Sparse


2012 - EF, RR, SO, Sp
2009 - SO, EF


Centrolepis strigosa (R.Br.) Roem. et Schult.



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

Monocotyledonous Herbs


Desvauxia strigosa R.Br.


Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands. In the North Island known locally from the Kai Iwi Lakes, Glinks Gully and Bayly's Beach (west of Dargaville) to Lake Ototoa (see de Lange 2011). In the South Island known only from near Bluff Hill and Invercargill. Also in Australia


Coastal to lowland. Growing in open clay, sand or silty places in damp places near lake or pond margins, or on open sand pans within gumland scrub (see de Lange 2011).


Delicate tufted annual 15-70 mm tall. Roots fine, fibrous (whole plant easily detached from soil). Leaves 10-30 x 0.2 mm, filiform, grey-green to green, hispid the surfaces being covered in long white, rigid, multicellular hairs; apices acicular, otherwise leaves broadening toward a membranous sheath. Flowering stems 20-65 x 0.4 mm, much longer than leaves, hispid with very fine somewhat tangled, white hairs. Glume-like bracts 2-3, these 3 mm long, green or pinkish-green with a narrow membranous margin, ovate and spreading, covered with long, rigid, multicellular hairs; awns glabrous 1 mm long with an acicular apex. Pseudanthia 4-8 in each bract, these almost equal to bracts in length, each with 3 hyaline, unequal, fringed scales, one very much shorter the other two of similar length, sheathing the male and female flowers, Male flowers set with 1 per partial inflorescence, females 4-8 per partial inflorescence, connate and superposed in 2 rows, or occasionally appearing spirally arranged. Styles not connate. Seed 0.5 mm long, brown with a dark tip at each end, obovate-oblong, blunt at the apex, surface finely reticulated.

Similar Taxa

None. A very distinctive and singular species which has little resemblance to the other endemic New Zealand species (see Fact Sheets).


December - February


December - March (- April)

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.


A naturally uncommon, biologically sparse, seasonal annual. Although it has not been reliably reported from Bluff and Invercargill for many years it is probably still present there. It is seasonally abundant at the Kai Iwi Lakes (de Lange 2011).

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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


Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by: P.J. de Lange 14 August 2006. Description based on Moore & Edgar (1970).

References and further reading

de Lange, P.J. 2011: Centrolepis strigosa - a rarely seen annual. Trilepidea 87: 7-9.

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II, Wellington, Government Printer.

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 24 May 2016