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.
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 | Data Deficient
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Data Deficient
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. South Island, south west Nelson and Westland
Sub-alpine to low-alpine (900-1300 m.a.s.l.)
Slender sparse-leaved tufted herb, taproot deeply descending, stem stout, up to 60 cm tall. Leaves about 30 cm long, pinnate; pinnae 3-foliolate or the lowest again pinnate. Sheaths approximately 50 x 10 mm, thin, tapering to spinous-pointed; stipules up to 20 mm long (stipules occasionally vestigial). Petioles 30-50 mm long; midrib stout, winged; lower internodes 20-30 mm long, midrib prominent. Primary pinnae usually 3-6 pairs, up to approximately 150 mm long. Terminal leaflet up to 140 x 5-8 mm, striate, with strong reddish to yellow midrib; margins thickened, serrulate-crenulate, apex pungent. Flowering stems of male plants stout, up to 60cm x 10 mm including stout oblong inflorescence up to 30 cm long. Bracts numerous, sheaths up to 40 mm x 14 mm; stipules rigid, approximately 10 mm long; lamina usually simple, approximately 50 x 2-3 mm. Umbels on very slender primary rays approximately 10 mm long; umbellules up to 5 mm diameter, on few capillary rays. Flowering stems of female plants up to 60 cm x 10 mm; inflorescence more compact. Bract-sheaths approximately 40 x 10 mm; stipules up to 10 x 2 mm, gradually narrowed to pungent apex; lamina on petiole up to 10 mm long, with a pair of 3-foliolate leaflets, somewhat squarrose; longest leaflet up to 40 mm long. Umbels numerous, roughly concealed by bracts. Fruit approximately 3-4 mm long.
Aciphylla crenulata is a softer plant with shorter (15 cm) 1-pinnate leaves.
(December-) January - February
January - March
aciphylla: From the Latin acicula ‘needle’ and the Greek phyllum ‘leaf’, meaning needle-leaf.
indurata: Not hard
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Dawson & LeComte suggest this species is part of the group with clear juice. They note it may also be seen to hybridise; A. hookeri x A. indurata seen at Mt. Bovis, reported by W. R. B. Oliver.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Allan (1961) and Mark (2012).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 1. Wellington: Government Printer. pg. 476-477.
Dawson, J.W. LeComte, J.R. 1978. Research on Aciphylla - a progress report. Tuatara 23: pg. 49-67.
Mark, A. F. 2012. Above the Treeline: A Nature Guide to Alpine New Zealand. Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson. pg. 148.
Te Papa Museum. 2021. WELT Herbarium search - Aciphylla indurata - Collections Online Home Page. Te Papa Collections Online. 2004. Accessed December 15th, 2021. http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz (Physical collection was observed to view specimen(s) phenology not yet pictured online).