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.
Chatham Island akeake, Chatham Island tree daisy
Olearia traversiorum (F.Muell.) Hook.f.
CD, DP, IE, RF
Vascular - Native
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.
Olearia telmatica is closely related. It differs from akeake 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
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
January – June
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.
2n = 108
Where To Buy
Can be purchased from Oratia Native Plant Nurseries (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Description based on Heenan et al. (2008). New Zealand Journal of Botany 46(4): 567-583.
This page last updated on 4 May 2011