Species

Epilobium confertifolium

Etymology

Epilobium: From the Greek epi- 'upon' and lobos 'a pod', the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.

Common Name(s)

Willowherb

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

Qualifiers

2012 - RR, Sp

Authority

Epilobium confertifolium Hook.f.

Family

Onagraceae

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites

Synonyms

Epilobium findlayi Allan, Epilobium dawbinii Allan

Distribution

Endemic. Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Habitat

Sea level to 600 m a.s.l. A species of open ground amongst Poa litora and Chionochloa antarctica tussocks or in exposed rock ground and turf.

Features

Compact, creeping, matted, mostly glabrous perennial herb. Stems 20-180 mm long, creeping and rooting at nodes or semi-erect to erect, glabrous except for lines of fine appressed or erect hairs decurrent from the petiole margins. Leaves arranged parallel to ground in creeping forms, longer than internodes, mostly opposite becoming alternate in the inflorescence; subsessile to shortly petiolate (up to 2 mm long); lamina 4-16 x 2-7 mm, glossy, bright green, elliptic, apex acute, base attenuate, margins serrulate bearing up to 12 teeth, lateral veins scarcely evident, 1-4 either side of midrib. Inflorescence and flowers erect with flowers well spaced along stems. Ovaries 5-12 mm long, glabrous, subsessile or on glabrous or finely strigulose-striated pedicels up to 8 mm long. Floral tube 0.4-1.0 mx 0.7-1.4 mm, glabrous. Sepals 1.8-3.3 x 0.7-1.1 mm, glabrous, not keeled. Petals 2.0-5.5 x 1.2-2.6 mm, bright rose-purple, notch 0.3-1.3 mm. Anthers 0.3-0.5 x 0.3-0.4 mm, yellow; filaments of longer stamens 0.8-1.5 mm long, those of shorter 0.5-0.6 mm, rose-purple. Style 0.8-1.8 mm tall, white; stigma 0.6-1.3 x 0.3-0.8 mm, white, clavate. Capsule 13-40 mm long on pedicel up to 60 mm long; thick and fleshy, bright green, glabrous. Seeds 0.8-0.9 x 0.4 mm, brown, narrowly obovoid, papillose; coma 5-7 mm long, white, easily detached.

Similar Taxa

A distinctive species easily recognised by the glabrous ovary and rose-pink flowers. It has no close relationship morphologically or otherwise to the other Epilobium species recorded from the subantarctic islands

Flowering

November - January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,Violet / Purple

Fruiting

December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.

Threats

Not Threatened. A narrow range endemic abundant within its subantarctic habitats and listed only because it qualifies as a Range Restricted species.

Chromosome No.

2n = 36

Endemic Taxon

Yes

Endemic Genus

No

Endemic Family

No

Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available.

Attribution

Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 6 January 2008. Description adapted from Raven & Raven (1976) and Webb & Simpson (2001).

References and further reading

Raven, P.H.; Raven, T.E. 1976: The genus Epilobium in Australasia. New Zealand DSIR Bulletin 216. Wellington, Government Printer.

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 11: 285-309

Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2011: Seeds of New Zealand Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch, Manuka Press.

This page last updated on 14 Sep 2014