Wahlenbergia akaroa


Wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
akaroa: From Akaroa, New Zealand

Common Name(s)

Akaroa harebell

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 - DP, OL


Wahlenbergia akaroa J.A.Petterson



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites




Endemic. Banks Peninsula


Coastal. Found mainly on steep cliffs where it grows in crevices, and also in associated shrubland, and rough pasture in places free from browsing animals.


Radicate herb, stems branching from the base, somewhat fleshy and brittle, the upper 2/3 of the plant forming a many-flowered much branched multiple panicle. Leaves dark green, sessile, rather fleshy, oblong, obovate-spathulate, oblanceolate, lanceolate to linear, margins obscurely dentate to sharply serrate, more or less undulate, up to 40 × 15 mm. Flowers erect on slender pedicels 50-100 mm long, blue-violet, paler outside, sometimes white. Corolla 18-30 mm diameter, 10-15 mm long, subrotate, broad-petalled, tube saucer shaped, 1 × 5 to 1.5 × 6.0 mm, lobes curving up before spreading, broadly oblanceolate, acute, separate at base, touching or overlapping at widest point, 8 × 5 to 14 × 6 mm. Style thickened and blue at top. Calyx lobes glabrous, 2 × 1 to 4.0 × 1.5 mm, triangular, erect or spreading. Capsules glabrous, 5 × 3 to 6 × 4 mm, obconic with protruding valves. Seeds 0.5 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from the other radicate New Zealand Wahlenbergia Roth by the very large (20-35 mm diameter) pale blue-violet sub-rotate flowers. Aside from the chromosome number this species is indistinguishable from the Australia W. planiflora P.J.Sm.


October - April

Flower Colours

Blue,Violet / Purple


November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed. A beautiful plant that responds well to pot cultivation and is ideal for a sunny site in a rockery. Reasonably drought tolerant. prefers a free draining soil.


Accessible plants are at risk from browsing animals. Otherwise this species is abundant within its cliff habitat. It is only listed because it is a narrow range, naturally uncommon endemic.

Chromosome No.

2n = 72

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 12 June 2007. Description from Petterson (1997).

References and further reading

Petterson, J.A. 1997: Revision of the genus Wahlenbergia (Campanulaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 35(1): 9-54.

This page last updated on 17 Apr 2014