Anisotome: unequal sided
Anisotome latifolia Hook.f.
Vascular - Native
Ligusticum latifolium (Hook.f.) Hook.f., Calosciadium latifolium (Hook.f.) Endl. ex Walp., Aciphylla latifolia (Hook.f.) Cockayne
Endemic. Auckland and Campbell Islands.
Coastal to montane on peaty ground amongst boulders, tussocks and other megaherbs, more rarely under scrub and low forest. Most abundant at lower alitudes.
Robust perennial herb reaching up to 2 m tall. Basal leaves firmly coriaceous, ovate 0.3-0.6 x 0.1-02 m; 2-pinnate, leaflets in 5-7 pairs, dark green to yellow-green, ovate to lanceolate, shortly petiolulate or sessile;leaflet margins cartilaginous, pinnatifid or deeply incised into broad toothed or incised segments; teeth acute, piliferous with hairs 2.0-3.5 mm long; petioles 0.15-0.3m x 7.0-15.0 mm, subterete, with a central ridge on the somewhat flattened adaxial surface; sheaths 50-80 x 35-50 mm, prolonged at the apex into two broad lobes free from the petioles by 2-3 mm; cauline leaf sheaths markedly inflated; peduncles 20-150 mm long. Inflorescence axis up to 2 m by 10-15 mm diameter at first node. Flowers off white to pale creamy pink. Staminate flowers held within an involucre of linear to lanceolate bracts 5-15 x 1-2 mm; involucel of several linear to lanceolate bracteoles 3.0-7.0 x 0.5-1.5 mm; rays 20-40, 5-20 mm long; pedicels 20-40, 2-5 mm long. Pistillate flowers similar, involucre bracts linear to broadly lanceolate, 10-35 x 1-5 mm, involucel bracteoles linear to lanceolate 2.0-10.0 x 0.5-2.0 mm, rays 20-40, 10-35 mm long, pedicels 15-30, 1-5 mm long; styles slender, 1-2 mm long, divergent. Mericarp elliptic, elliptic-ovate, elliptic-oblong or narrowly elliptic, 3.5-5.5-7.0 mm long; apex usually slightly narrowed and obtuse, sometimes rounded, base obtuse to truncate; 2-5-ribbed; ribs usually even, sometimes irregular, equal thin, finely winged with a narrow hyaline margin. Surface dull; ribs yellow, dark yellow or orange; vittae usually obscured in mature mericarps, if visible dark red-brown.
Probably allied to A. acutifolia Kirk, A. antipoda Hook.f. and A. lyallii Hook.f., four species that can grow as tall as 2 m when flowering and are confined to the southern South Island and Stewart Island (A. lyallii) or the subantarctic Islands (A. acutifolia, A. antipoda and A. latifolia). A. latifolia is sympatric on the Auckland and Campbell Islands with A. antipoda from which it can be easily distinguished by its muich more coarsely divided leaves, and off white to pale pink rather than dark pink to magenta flowers.
October - February
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
January - March
Easy from fresh seed. Easily grown in a deep, peaty, permanently damp soil. Resent hot, humid weather and prone to collapse under such conditions. A beautiful plant that deserves to be more widely cultivated than it currently is.
Not Threatened. Listed because it is naturally confined to a small geographic area. It is abundant on Campbell and common on those islands of the Auckland group free of browsing animals.
This page last updated on 8 Aug 2011