None (first described in 1979)
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.
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
Endemic. South Island, confined to the Remarkables, Hector and Garvie Ranges
Alpine (1400-1900 m a.s.l.) usually on rock in steep crevices, leages and hollows of rock outcrops and cliff faces, or amongst boulders, rarely in surrounding tall-tussock grassland.
Rosettes up to 350 mm diameter in groups of 25 or more. Leaves coriaceous, yellowish-green, up to 250 mm long, 1-pinnate, usually with 4 pairs of leaflets, these more or less plane; sheath up to 90 x 6-12 mm, sheath joint obscure; stipules 35 x 1-1.5 mm, simple; petiole up to 45 x 3-54 mm, more or less convex above, margins rounded, pulvinus evident, 8-10 mm long; lamina obtriangular in outline, lowermost leafleft up to 100 x 3-4 mm, apex acute with a spine 1 mm long, margins finely tuberculate, mid- and margin ribs 0.2 mm wides vein not raised. Inflorescences broad. Female inflorescence up to 520 mm or more long, stem 300 x 10 mm, pale yellow to brown; head 125 x 90 mm, more or less ovate in outline; compound umbels 12-16, usually arranged in 3 or 4 whorls, the terminal umbel larger than to about the same size as the laterals; lower bracts 70 mm long with a sheath 20 x 4-8 mm, stipules, and 1-2 pairs of leaflets, upper bracts smaller and simple with stipules. Lower compound umbels up to 70 mm long with peduncles up to 50 x 2.5 mm; primary bracteoles simple, up to 9 x 1 mm; simple umbels 13 with peduncles up to 15 x 0.8 mm; secondary bracteoles simple, up to 7 x 1 mm; 15 flowers per umbel, pedicels 3 x 0.2 mm. Sepals up to 0.8 mm long; petals up to 1.4 x 0.7 mm, not inflexed; staminodes up to 0.6 mm long. Male Inflorescence up to 420 mm long, stem 290 x 8 mm, pale yellow to brown; head 140 x 105 mm, almost circular in outline; compound umbels c. 8, tending to be in 2-3 whorls, the terminal umbel generally larger than the laterals; bracts and bracteoles similar to female inflorescences; lower compound umbels up to 80 mm long with peduncles up to 15 x 0.4 mm; 20 flowers per umbel and pedicels up to 5 x 0.2 mm. Sepals up to 0.8 mm long; petals up to 1.3 x 0.6 mm, not inflexed; stamens up to 2.5 mm long. Mericarps 4.1 x 2 mm, dull, pale brown, lateral ribs up to 0.4 mm wide; style up to 1.2 mm long.
Most likely to be confused with A. similis Cheeseman which is found well north of the range of A. lecomtei in an area centred on the Two Thumb Range to about the Lewis Pass and west thereof. A. lecomtei differs from A. similis by its preference for rocky rather than grassland habitats, its more robust growth habit, larger rosettes and in having 4 pairs of leaflets rather than 6-7 or more. From A. montana J.F.Armstr. var. montana, A. lecomtei differs by having 4 rather than 3 leaflets, more clearly defined rosettes, and A. lecomtei has broad rather than narrow inflorescences. A. montana is allopatric from A. lecomtei.
December - February
January - April
Winged schizocarps are dispersed primarily by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Has been cultivated in the past by Mr Jim le Comte of Alouette Nurseries, Ashburton but probably not in cultivation now. Its cultural requirements are not clear but it was grown successfully for 10 years in Hamilton City in the Waikato in a sunny, free draining soil.
A narrow range endemic common within its known geographic range. Accessible plants maybe browsed by animals
aciphylla: From the Latin acicula ‘needle’ and the Greek phyllum ‘leaf’, meaning needle-leaf.
lecomtei: Named after James Ronald LeComte (1927-1987), a New Zealand botanist specialising in the Aciphylla genus.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 28 May 2006: Description adapted from Dawson (1979).
References and further reading
Dawson, J. W. 1979: Aciphylla montana Armstrong, A. lecomtei sp. nov., and related species. New Zealand Journal of Botany 17: 339-351.
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): Aciphylla lecomtei Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/aciphylla-lecomtei/ (Date website was queried)