Bidibid, hutiwai, piripiri
Acaena pusilla (Bitter) Allan var. pusilla, A. pusilla var. suprasericascens Bitter, Acaena viridior (Cockayne) Allan. The names A. anserinifolia var. sericeinitens (Bitter) Allan and var. paucidens, are referrable to A. profundeincisa (Bitter) B.Macmillan.
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites
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.
2n = 42
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. Found throughout the North, South, Stewart, and Chatham Islands. Naturalised on the Auckland and Campbell Islands.
Abundant from lowland to lower subalpine forest margins and in shrublands.
Stoloniferous, prostrate, trailing and perennial herb, forming diffuse to dense patches up to 1 m diam. Prostrate stems 1-1.5 mm diam. and < 1 m long, erect stems 1-1.5 mm diam., < 150 mm long (unless scrambling up through surrounding vegetation, in which case taller). Leaves 10-75 mm long, stipules 3-8-fid, leaflets 9-13, oblong, 4-17 x 2-9 mm, 7-15-toothed to base, dull green to yellow-green, basal leaves often mottled brown, upper surface sparsely to densely hairy, undersides paler, glaucescent to silvery, and very silky hairy, teeth tipped with a tuft of brush-like hairs. Inflorescence scape 40-120 mm long, covered in long, appressed hairs. Capitulum 5-8 mm diam. at flowering, 10-20 mm diam. (including spines) at fruiting; florets c. 50-60; sepals 4; stamens 2; anthers white or rose; style 1; white; achene 1. Fruit obconic, 3 x 12 mm, hairy, spines 4, pale brown, 4-9 mm long, barbed.
Often grows with Acaena novae-zelandiae but can be recognised by the distinctive tuft of brush-like hairs surmounting the leaf teeth apices. Undersides of leaves are distinctly silvery due to dense covering of appressed silky hairs. A. juvenca and A. emittens are closely related. Both can be easily recognised by their very gracile, slender, stems, rather diffuse foliage, by the distal 3-5 leaflets obovate and larger than the basal leaflets, and by the usually entire stipules.
October - January
December - April
Spiny hypanthia are dispersed by attaching to fur, feathers and clothing and possibly also dispersed by wind and granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and from rooted pieces.
acaena: From the Greek ‘akanthos’ thorn, referring to the spiny calyx that many species have
anserinifolia: With leaves like Potentilla anserina
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
References and further reading
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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Acaena anserinifolia Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/acaena-anserinifolia/ (Date website was queried)