Acaena buchananii var. picta Allan, A. buchananii var. inermis Bitter, A. depressa Kirk
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons 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 = c.42
Current conservation status
The threat classification 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) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website 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. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2009 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Gradual Decline
Eastern South Island from Marlborough to Otago. Lowland to montane short dry tussockland and turf, mainly in inland basins. In the drier parts of Central Otago it can be locally common especially in closely grazed non-improved pasture.
Montane riverbeds and tussock grassland.
Leaves milky green or grey, lacking pattern of darker veins; heads unstalked; fruits c. 10 per head; fruit spines with soft hairs bent backwards at tip.
Perhaps closest to A. tesca B.Macmillan from which it differs by its more compact growth form, with densely tufted leafy stems, pale milky green or grey foliage, by the almost imbricate 5-6 leaflet pairs, and by the compressed capitula with the yellow spines held erect. The status of A. buchananii var. picta (grey leaves and red spines) needs further study.
Flowers in December
Spiny hypanthia are dispersed by attaching to fur, feathers and clothing and possibly also dispersed by wind and granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Very easy from rooted pieces.
Habitat destruction through land development such as cultivation, oversowing, irrigation, orchard and vineyard establishment.
acaena: From the Greek ‘akanthos’ thorn, referring to the spiny calyx that many species have
buchananii: Named after John Buchanan (13 October 1819-1898) who was a New Zealand botanist and scientific artist and fellow of the Linnean Society.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (1 August 2003).
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 11: 285-309.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Acaena buchananii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/acaena-buchananii/ (Date website was queried)