Olearia traversiorum


Olearia: Derived from the latinised name (Olearius) of the 17th century German botanist Adam Oelenschlager
traversiorum: Named after William Thomas Locke Travers (1819-1903) who was an Irish lawyer, magistrate, politician, explorer, naturalist, photographer. He lived in New Zealand from 1849 and was a fellow of the Linnean Society.

Common Name(s)

Hakapiri, Chatham Island akeake,

Current Conservation Status

2012 - 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

2009 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - CD, DP, IE, RF
2009 - CD, DP, IE, RF


Olearia traversiorum (F.Muell.) Hook.f.



Brief Description

Small tree with oval dark green leathery leaves that are whiteish underneath and persistent seed heads inhabiting drier sites on the Chatham Islands. Leaves 15-80mm long by 10-46mm wide. Flowers cream or brownish, in small clusters, appearing late spring. Seeds fluffy.

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 Trees & Shrubs


Eurybia traversii F.Muell., Olearia traversii (F.Muell.) Hook.f. ortho. var.


Endemic. Chatham Islands


A tree common of lowland forests, now most commonly found on dune systems. It also occurs along the edge of larger lagoons and lakes (but only in free draining soils) and sometimes on cliff tops.


Tree 12–18 m tall; trunks up to 1 m diameter, upright to spreading; occasionally with epicormic shoots. Bark light grey, becoming coarsely fibrous, deeply fissured, and rough textured on trunk and old branches; branchlets quadrangular, stout, 2.0–2.6 mm diameter. Leaves opposite, lamina 15–80 × 10–46 mm, broadly elliptic, obovate, broad-obovate, or occasionally elliptic; upper surface dark green, glossy, midrib raised and prominent; underside with dense appressed, off-white, tomentum; apex subacute to obtuse, with a small apiculus; base cuneate to obtuse, sometimes attenuate; petiole 5–10 mm long, covered in dense appressed tomentum. Inflorescence an axillary panicle with 5–68 capitula, persistent after fruiting; primary branches in 3–6 opposite pairs; lower pairs of branches with 3–19 capitula, upper 1–3 branches each with 1–3 capitula. Bracts subtending primary branches, 2.0–5.0 × 0.8–1.2 mm, lanceolate to narrowly triangular, apex subacute. Bracteoles 2.0–3.0 × 0.5–0.8 mm, margin entire, apex subacute. Capitulum 5.0–7.0 mm long, involucre cylindric; involucral bracts 10–14, 1–2-seriate, upper surface glabrous, underside moderately to densely hairy, margins entire, apex acute to subacute; outer bracts 2.0–2.8 × 0.8–1.1 mm, narrowly triangular to elliptic; inner bracts 3.3–4.0 × 0.6–1.1 mm, lanceolate to narrow triangular. Florets 7–11 per capitulum; corolla usually cream to buff, sometimes pale yellow. Pistillate florets 3–5. Hermaphrodite florets 3–7. Style 4.5–5.5 mm long; stigmatic arms 0.4–0.6 mm long. Ovary 0.8–1.6 × 0.4–0.6 mm. Anthers 1.3–1.5 mm long, white, dehiscent in bud, apex apiculate; filaments 0.5–0.6 mm long, inserted at top of corolla tube. Seeds 1.2–2.1 × 0.6–0.8 mm, narrow-cylindric, light brown, with 4–5 pale ribs, sparsely to moderately hairy; pappus 2.2–3.3 mm long, off-white to buff, finely scabrid.

Similar Taxa

Olearia telmatica is closely related. It differs from hakapiri by its restriction to permanently flooded swamp habitats, smaller stature, slender trunk, narrower leaves, lemon-yellow and less hairy corolla, less branched inflorescence with fewer capitula, fulvous hairs on the inflorescence, earlier flowering season, readily dispersed seed, and abscising inflorescences


November – January

Flower Colours



January – June

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from semi-hardwood cuttings and fresh seed. Fast growing and an excellent shelter belt. This species rarely flowers in the northern part of New Zealand.


The wood of this tree is used for fence posts and as firewood.

Chromosome No.

2n = 108

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Common Names

This tree has long been known by the name 'akeake', that name has caused some confusion because of the unclear relationship with the unrelated Dodonaea viscosa (Sapindaceae) known in New Zealand as 'akeake'. In part to resolve this confusion Olearia traversiorum has become more widely known as 'Chatham Island akeake'.  Recently it has been pointed out that the Moriori name for this Chatham Islands endemic is 'hakapiri'. On advice from the Moriori imi Hokotehi this name is now used preferentially here.

Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Olearia traversiorum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=609 (Date website was queried)



Fact Sheet prepared by Peter J. de Lange (12 December 2008). Description based on Heenan et al. (2008).

References and further reading

Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J.; Houliston, G.J.; Murray, B.G. 2008: Olearia telmatica (Asteraceae: Astereae), a new tree species endemic to the Chatham Islands. New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 567-583.

This page last updated on 21 Nov 2018