Waireia stenopetala


stenopetala: From the Greek stenos (narrow) and petalum (petal), narrow petalled

Common Name(s)

Yellow Beaks, Beak Orchid, Horizontal Orchid,

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

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 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Waireia stenopetala (Hook.f.) M.A.Clem., D.L.Jones et Molloy



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



Lyperanthus antarcticus Hook.f., Thelymitra stenopetala Hook. f.


Endemic. North, South, Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands. In the North Island known only from the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu and from the Tararua Range.


Wet, peaty places at higher altitudes in the north, down to sea level in the south.


Summer-green, leafy, glabrous, tuberous, perennial herb. Tubers paired or in threes, globose to conical. Plant at flower up to 400 mm tall, plant sharply elongating at fruiting. All parts fleshy. Stem erect, terete. Leaves (1-)2(-3), widely spaced and reducing in size up stem, basal leaf 80-150 x 15-20 mm, dark green, narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, concave, apex acute, dark green to bronze green, rarely flecked brown. Floral bracts closely sheathing and overtopping ovary, leaf-like, colour as for leaves. Flowers (1-)3(-6) in short racemes, inclined away from bracts. Perianth 10-20 mm long, yellow-green, or green, usually spotted red-brown. Sepals acute; dorsal sepal rather broadly ovate, cucullate, deeply concave, arching over and obscuring most of the rest of the flower; lateral sepals smaller, yellow-green or green, linear, sharply deflexed. Petals slightly shorter again, yellow-green or green, linear-lanceolate, subacute, deflexed or patent. Labellum erect, broad-ovate, narrowed abruptly to a short fixed claw; margin entire, callose ridges present and extending toward labellum apex. Column elongate-cylindric, curved, wing very narrow, finely lobed about anther. Anther terminal, papillose, with two initially coherent, pollinia per cell, finely granular. Stigma prominent, discoid; rostellum median.

Similar Taxa



November - March

Flower Colours



January - May

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 40

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.

Taxonomic notes

Waireia is a recent segregate from Lyperanthus. 


Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1997).

References and further reading

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

This page last updated on 20 Jan 2014