Anisotome lyallii


Anisotome: unequal sided
lyallii: Named after David Lyall (1817-1895), 19th century Scottish naturalist and surgeon with the Royal Navy, who explored Antarctica, New Zealand, the Arctic and North America and was a lifelong friend of Sir Joseph Hooker.

Common Name(s)

Lyalls carrot

Current Conservation Status

2012 - 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

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - Sp


Anisotome lyallii Hook.f.



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 Herbs other than Composites


Ligusticum lyallii Hook.f., Anisotome intermedia Hook.f., Ligusticum intermedium Hook.f., Ligusticum intermedium var. oblongifolium Kirk, Anisotome intermedia var. oblongifolium (Kirk) Cheeseman


Endemic. South, Stewart, and Solander Islands. Present along the Fiordland coast from Jacksons Bay to Puysegur Point. Also found from Nugget Point to South Head. On Stewart Island known from western and southern coastline. Common on Stewart Island.


Coastal. On steep, south facing, sparsely vegetated cliffs, and in coastal turf, herbfield and on damp peaty ledges. Sometimes in coastal grassland, on boulder falls and even on sand dunes and beaches. In all its habitats it always found near the sea often within the spray zone.


Perennial herb up to 0.8 m tall. Basal leaves on petioles 10-150 × 15-100 mm; sheaths 3-130 × 15-40 mm (sheaths of cauline leaves inflated); lamina oblanceolate to oblong, 0.10-0.45 × 0.02-0.13 m, 2-3-pinnate; primary leaflets 5-10 pairs, rhomboid, deltoid to ovate, shortly petiolate, coriaceous; secondary leaflets spathulate to rhomboid, sometimes ovate; leaflet margins not thickened, often pinnatifid, rarely deeply incised into broad or narrow, toothed segments; teeth obtuse to acute, not piliferous. Inflorescence up to 0.9 m tall and 10 mm diameter at the first node; peduncles 20-150 mm long. Flowers dirty white to white. Staminate plants – involucre comprising several linear to lanceolate bracts, 4-18 × 0.5-2.5 mm; involucel of several linear bracteoles 2-10 × 0.25-1 mm; rays 10-35, 5-25 mm long; pedicels 10-30, 1-5 mm long. Carpellate plants – involucre of several linear to lanceolate bracts 5-25 × 0.5-5 mm, the bracts sometimes bearing reduced blade at the tip; involucel of several linear bracteoles 2-10 × 0.5-1.5 mm; rays 4-30, 5-30 mm long; pedicels 5-25, 1-7 mm long; styles slender, 1-2 mm long, divergent to divaricate. Mericarps narrowly elliptic to elliptic, ovate or elliptic-ovate, 4.0-7.5 mm long; apex usually slightly narrowed; base obtuse to truncate; 5-ribbed, ribs even, equal, thin, narrowly winged, opaque or translucent at margin. Surface dull, ribs orange, orange-brown or dark brown, vittae visible or partially obscured, red-brown or dark brown.

Similar Taxa

Most closely allied to A. acutifolia Kirk, which is a much larger, soloniferous plant with wider, coarsely toothed leaves and ligulate leaf sheaths. Anisotome acutifolia is allopatric from A. lyallii and is endemic to the Snares Island group.


November - January

Flower Colours



January - March

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Prefers a sunny situation. It should be planted in a deep, permanently moist, peaty soil. This species does not like humidity and hot climates, and does best in a south facing or cool site, even though for it flower it needs full sun for most of the day.


Probably not threatened, although accessiblel populations in Fiordland and on Stewart Island are probably deer browsed. It is very common on Solander Island and occurs in reasonable numbers in the south-eastern part of the South Island. Nevertheless because this species is being browsed by deer it is probably incorrectly listed and its conservation status will need to be reassessed.

Chromosome No.

2n = 22

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Winged mericarps are dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 April 2007. Description based on Dawson (1961).

References and further reading

Dawson, J.W. 1961: A revision of the genus Anisotome (Umbelliferae). University of California Publications in Botany 33: 1-98.

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 12 Dec 2014