Swamp blueberry, swamp ink berry, swamp Dianella
None (first described 2007)
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 = 16
Current conservation status
The conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: DP
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Sparse
Endemic. North Island. Te Paki south to at least the Mamaku Plateau and near Te Awamutu.
A coastal to lowland wetland species favouring high moor restiad dominated peat bogs. However, it is also known from low moor systems and transitional bogs, the margins of swamps developed within geothermal areas and even from the floating sud communities developed around peat lakes.
Upright, densely tussock-forming evergreen perennial herb; forming very tight, compact and upright clumps; rhizomes up to 20 mm long. Leaves 1-2 m long, 18-25 mm wide, uniformly olive-green to dull dark green, discolourous, usually upright, slightly curved, sometimes drooping, more or less flat, lamina smooth and more or less glossy; margin and abaxial midrib with obscure to prominent minute teeth; apex subacute to more or less obtuse, cucullate; leaf sheaths equitant, tightly clasping, surface and margin weakly to strongly flushed blood-red, red-maroon or pink, especially near base; apex subacute to more or less obtuse, cucullate. Inflorescence erect, 1-2 m long, usually among the leaves; scape slender, arching base asymmetric up to 8.5 x 5.3 mm diameter; panicle 400-700 mm long, branches spreading, short, regularly spaced; cauline leaves subtending branches, leaf-like at the base but reducing in size and becoming bract-like distally; cymules 3-5-flowered; pedicels 9-20 mm long, slightly recurved, terete; bracteoles 1,0-1.2 x c.0.2 mm, narrow-triangular, subtending pedicels, caducous. Flowers nodding, 10-11 mm diameter, opening mid-morning, collapsing late afternoon, perianth segments patent to slightly recurved; sepals 4.8-5.5 x 1.9-2.0 mm, oblong, undersides olive-green flushed red-brown, upper surface paler, apex obtuse; petals 4.1-4.2 x 2.9-3.0 mm, obovate, white, midvein olive-green, apex obtuse to retuse; filaments 6, 1.2-1.4 mm long, white; struma 0.8-1.3 x 0.6-0.7 mm, short oblong to oblong-obovate, yellow, minutely papillose; ovary 1.3-1.5 x c.1.3 mm, green, more or less globular; style 1.4-1.5 mm long, white. Berry 8-20 x 7-10 mm, ovoid to oblong, grey-white and dull to strong violet-blue and glossy, pericarp spongy. Seeds 1.8-2.5 x 2.3-3.2 mm, ovoid, black, shiny.
Distinguished from D. latissima Heenan et de Lange and D. nigra Colenso by the densely tussock forming habit, with very tight, compact and upright clumps, ascending rhizomes up to 20 mm long; usually blood red (sometimes pink) leaf sheaths; uniformly olive-green to dull dark green, upright leaves up to 2 m long and 25 mm wide, with prominent, harsh but usual sparse teeth on the leaf margins, subacute to hooded leaf apex; inflorescences hidden among the leaves, shortly oblong to oblong-obovate (0.8-1.3 mm long) struma; and by the styles which are 1.4-1.5 mm long cf 2.0-2.2 mm long in D. latissima and 1.7-2.1 mm long in D. nigra. Dianella haematica is further distinguished by its preference for acidic wetland habitats.
September - November
November - April
Fleshy berries are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from the division of whole plants and from fresh seed. Despite its natural restriction to wetlands it is easily grown in most situations.
Seriously at risk from wetland drainage - especially in the greater Waikato (which appears to be its main centre of distribution). Also vulnerable to competiton from wetland weeds such as Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis L.) and grey willow (Salix cinerea L.). Over large parts of its Waikato range it now survives on the margins of drained peat bogs lining roadside ditches where it is vulnerable to weed spraying. These losses are tempered by the high probability that as a new species its exact range has yet to be determined. Previously regarded (as Dianella aff. nigra (b) (AK 252911; Kopouatai)) as Sparse in de Lange et al. (2004).
dianella: Little Diana
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
For further information refer to:
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (18 December 2007). Description adapted from Heenan & de Lange (2007).
References and further reading
de Lange et al., 2004, Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 45-76.
Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J. 2007: Two new species of Dianella (Hemerocallidaceae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 45: 269-285
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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Dianella haematica Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dianella-haematica/ (Date website was queried)