Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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 = 22
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
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Spiky grey shrub with many zig-zagging long flexible twigs bearing long (up to 5cm long) green spines interspersed with small oval dark green leaves. Bark rough, broken into squares. Leaves 10-20mm long. Flowers small, white, inconspicuous. Fruit a dry, 3 sided capsule.
Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known from near Waiuku south to the southern Wairarapa and Wellington coastline. Very uncommon in the North Island. In the South Island mainly east of the main divide, appearing to avoid areas of high rainfall
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
UPL: Obligate Upland
Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands (non-wetlands).
Seeds are dispersed by ballistic projection and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from seed. Can be grown from cuttings but these can be slow to strike. Rather variable, and some North Island sand dune forms are entirely prostrate, forming trailing shrubs. An excellent hedge plant, with the added bonus that this species fixes atmospheric nitrogen, making it available for other plants.
Not Threatened for most of its range. However, very uncommon and under threat throughout the North Island, where it is now known from very few sites and viable populations.
discaria: Disc bearing
toumatou: Derived from the Maori name tumamatakuru.
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.
References and further reading
Moorfield, J. C. (2005). Te aka : Maori-English, English-Maori dictionary and index. Pearson Longman: Auckland, N.Z.
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