Bulbinella gibbsii var. gibbsii
Gibbs’s Māori onion, Gibbs’s lily, Gibbs’s onion
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Monocots
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 = 14
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 – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. Stewart Island.
Coastal to alpine (mainly alpine) in damp ground, in cushion bogs and seepages, sometimes fringing ponds and small ephemeral pools.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Subdioecious, diminutive, summer green, fleshy, lily up to 300 mm tall. Leaves up to 30 mm wide, strap-like, reddish green to dark green, fleshy. Peduncle mostly shorter than raceme. Raceme mostly conical (rarely cylindric), the axis visible between flowers. Pedicels 10-20 mm long, swollen below flower, elongating slightly after anthesis. Bracts long-acuminate, notably longer than pedicel in flowering and fruiting material. Flowers 10-14 mm diameter, dark yellow, numerous, densely crowded; tepals patent, becoming erect and hardening as fruit matures. Stamens 6, < tepals; anthers mostly well filled with pollen. Ovary not stipitate. Capsules broad-ovoid. Seeds dark and narrowly winged.
Allied to B. rossii (Hook.f.) Cheeseman which is a much more robust species (up to 1 m tall) endemic to the Auckland and Campbell Islands. Bulbinella rossii has consistently cylindrical racemes. The axis is very stout and more or less obscured by the densely crowded, distinctly dioecious flowers. The stigma is prominently capitate. Bulbinella gibbsii var. balanifera L.B.Moore is a larger plant that var. gibbsii with longer peduncles and pedicels. The pedicels greatly exceed the subtending bracts. The ovary and capsules are barrel-shaped rather than broadly ovoid, with bases that only gradually narrow and which are scarcely stipitate. Bulbinella gibbsii var. balanifera is found in the North and South Islands but not on Stewart Island.
January - February
February - March
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild. Has been cultivated with limited success in the more southerly parts of the country.
Not Threatened. Listed only because with respect to the rest of the New Zealand archipelago it occupies a small geograpgic area
bulbinella: Little bulb
gibbsii: Named in honor of Frederick G Gibbs (1866-1953)
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Description modified from Moore and Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington. 354pp.