Acaena microphylla var. pauciglochidiata
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.
2018 | At Risk – Declining
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
South Island: Otago Peninsula, Southland coast; Stewart Island: between Ruggedy and Hellfire.
Coastal gravel and sandy ground.
Rhizomatous perennial; stems mat-forming, c. 1 mm diam., < 25 cm long, soon rooting and covered by soil; erect branchlets < 2 cm long. Lvs 0.5-3 cm long; stipules entire; leaflets 9-15, orbicular, 1.5-4 × 1.5-4 mm, with 5-7 obtuse teeth, green or bronze and shining on upper surface, with veins and teeth dark, glaucescent and sparsely hairy on lower surface. Capitulum ± sessile; capitulum c. 5 mm diam. at flowering, < 3 cm diam. (including spines) at fruiting; florets c. 2-4; sepals 4; stamens 2; anthers white; styles 2, white; achenes 2. Fr. turbinate, c. 2 × 2 mm, glabrous; spines with a few stiff hairs at tip.
Distinguished from other Acaena species by its mat-forming growth and leaflets that are green or bronze above.
From var. microphylla its distinguished by its fruiting heads hidden amoung leaves, 2-4 fruits with pale red spines bearing a few stiff hairs at tip or naked.
acaena: From the Greek ‘akanthos’ thorn, referring to the spiny calyx that many species have
microphylla: Small leaf
pauciglochidiata: 'pauci' meaning few, 'glochidiata' meaning barbed, referring to the few barbs on the fruits of this variety.
Fact sheet prepared by Marley Ford (13 December 2022). Brief description, Distribution, Habitat, Features, and Similar taxa sections copied from Webb et al. (1988).
References and further reading
Webb C.J., Sykes W.R., Garnock-Jones P.J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand. Botany Division, DSIR.