Convolvulus verecundus


Convolvulus: From Latin convolvere, which means to twine around

Common Name(s)

Trailing bindweed, tussock bindweed

Current Conservation Status

2018 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable

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 - At Risk - Declining
2009 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Sparse


2012 - DP
2009 - DP


Convolvulus verecundus Allan



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 Lianes and Related Trailing Plants


Convolvulus verecundus Allan subsp. verecundus


Endemic. Eastern South Island only from the Clarence River (probably now Historic) south to Central Otago. Probably now most abundant in the Mackenzie Basin and upper Waitaki River Valley.


Mainly montane (rarely lowland) (c.200 - 1000 m a.s.l.) sparsely vegetated short tussock, or on rock outcrops such as limestone, within regions subjected to regular summer-dry conditions. It has also been found in semi-arid habitats dominated by introduced weeds.


Rhizomatous, lianoid, decumbent, spreading perennial herb. Stems, short, spreading, sometimes ascending, up to 200 mm long, sparse to densely covered in retrorse hairs. Leaves in rosettes and alternate on stems 6.5-11.5 x 5-12.5 mm, deltoid, deltoid-ovate, to broad-oblong, grey, grey-green to silver-grey; hairy, margins undulate to sinuate, rarely with 4-6 pairs of teeth, base truncate, obtuse, oblique to cordate; apex retuse rarely obtuse. Pedicel 5-30(-55) mm long, hairy. Sepals 3.9-4 x 3.5-3.8 mm, obovate to ovate, green outer surface hairy, inner glabrous. Corolla 20-25 mm wide when open, white (rarely pink), comprising five fused lobes, mid-petalline band pink. Capsule 5.8-6.2 x 4.5-7.5 mm, papery, globose, with 2-4 seeds. Seeds broadly obovate 2.8-2.9 x 2.4-3 mm, black-brown, with grey nut-brown. Surface moderately covered in low ridges and tubercules.

Similar Taxa

Convolvulus waitaha (Sykes) Heenan, Molloy et de Lange and C. fracto-saxosa Petrie, from both of which it differs by its lianoid stems up to 200 mm long, more or less uniformly deltoid, deltoid-ovate to broad oblong leaves with smaller basal lobes, and which lack filiform or linear terminal lobes.


November - January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Easily grown from fresh seed which germinates readily but does not thrive in cultivation. It particularly resents humid conditions. Probably best in a well drained pot within an alpine house.


Threats are complex, and varied. It cannot be doubted that this species has declined from the Waitaki Valley as a consequence of hydrodevelopment of that river system. It may also have gone extinct in Marlborough, where it appears to have always been scarce. There are written records which suggest it has declined from Otago as well (J. Barkla pers. comm.). Recent field work and accounts from field workers indicate that this species exists in naturally sparse, widely scattered and mostly stable populations (Heenan et al. 2003, N.Z.J.Bot.41: 456).

Chromosome No.

2n = 22

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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


References and further reading

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 22 Jun 2014