Species

Bulbinella modesta

Etymology

Bulbinella: little bulb
modesta: Mild or modest

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 - Sparse

Qualifiers

2012 - Sp
2009 - DP

Authority

Bulbinella modesta L.B.Moore

Family

Asphodelaceae

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code

BULMOD

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

Synonyms

None

Distribution

Endemic. South Island, West Coast. Known from scattered sites in lowland habitats south of Westport to about Okarito.

Habitat

Lowland pakihi and associated swamp forest.

Features

Summer green herb. Plants very slender, < or = 300 mm. Leaves bright green, < 10 mm wide, flaccid, linear-lanceolate, gradually tapering to a subacute apex. Inflorescence a somewhat short and broad raceme, bearing scattered, well spaced flowers borne on a slender, often twisted peduncle, this often decurved to procumbent. Flowers pedicellate, pedicels long, spreading, often recurved at apex. Individual flowers star-like, with yellow 9.5-13 mm, perianths. These long persistent, as shrivelled remnants pendant from the base of the ripening capsules. Capsules globose, 4-5-5 mm diameter. Seeds 3.5-4 mm long, brown, smooth and rounded without wings.

Similar Taxa

A rather distinct species unlikely to be confused with any of the other New Zealand Bulbinella species. Perhaps closest to B. talbotii L.B.Moore from which it is easily distinguished by the taller flower head with openly (laxly) arranged flowers. Some people believe it is very close to if not the same as B. hookeri (Hook.) Cheeseman. However, although quite variable this species can be immediately distinguished by its obovoid capsules, containing elongated, narrowly winged almost black seeds.

Flowering

December - January

Flower Colours

Yellow

Fruiting

December - March

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and division of whole plants. Prefers damp ground, with little (if any) competition from taller plants.

Threats

As a lowland species of alluvial forest, pakihi, and back swamps, this species has become vulnerable to forest logging and wetland drainage, and populations have declined through the spread of introduced wetland weeds such as Juncus bulbosus and J. squarrosus. However, recent surveys (2004, 2005) have found numerous populations comprising many hundreds of plants. The overall impression is that this species has probably increased its range due to human modification of forested systems, thereby creating more Pakihi wetlands, and that any decline is more likely to be the result of natural succession rather than any human induced threat.

Chromosome No.

2n = 14

Endemic Taxon

Yes

Endemic Genus

No

Endemic Family

No

Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where To Buy

Not commercially available but plants are held by several Botanic Gardens and specialist growers

  

Attribution

Description modified from Moore and Edgar (1970)

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington. 354pp.

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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 25 May 2014