Dracophyllum uniflorum var. acicularifolium Cheeseman; Dracophyllum acicularifolium (Cheeseman) Cockayne nom. illeg.; Dracophyllum peninsulare W.R.B.Oliv.
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 = 26
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Upright, multi-branched, shrub or small tree of montane to suablpine shrubland and tussock grassland, bearing green, grass-like leaves, and white flowers borne singly on short terminal branches.
Montane to subalpine. On mountain slopes, ridgelines and hillsides, also along river or stream sides and on moraine terraces at altitudes at the treeline, in subalpine shrubland, tussock grassland, grassland or herbfield. Often common in areas which have been burnt in the recent past.
Erect multi-stemmed shrub or small tree, 1–2 m tall. Bark on old branches grey to dark grey, smooth to finely fissured, young stems reddish brown. Leaves erect to spreading; lamina sheath 5–20 × 3.5–6.5 mm, coriaceous, striate, truncate to auricled and margin membranous, smooth or with the top half ciliate; lamina linear to linear–triangular, 30–190 × 0.7–1.5 mm, adaxial surface rugose, abaxial surface glabrous, slightly striated; margins serrulate with 14–21 teeth per 10 mm; apex triquetrous. Inflorescence a solitary terminal flower on lateral branchlets, sessile, shorter than leaves; flower bracts persistent, over-topping flowers, leaf like, ovate–lanceolate, 8.5–17.0 × 2.5–5.0 mm, surfaces glabrous with a tuft of scabrid hairs at apices, margins ciliate. Sepals lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 8.0–13.0 × 2.0–2.5 mm, shorter to equaling the corolla tube, adaxial surfaces with the top half pubescent; abaxial surfaces glabrous; margins ciliate; apices hard. Corolla white to light green turning yellowish; corolla tube cylindrical, 7.0–8.0 × 1.8–2.2 mm; corolla lobes reflexed, ovate–triangular to triangular, shorter than corolla tube, 1–3 × 1–2 mm; apices inflexed, subacute; surfaces glabrous. Stamens inserted on corolla tube in upper third, filaments 0.5–1.0 mm long; anthers included, rectangular, light yellow, 0.8–1.0 mm long. Ovary cylindrical, 2.2–3.0 × 1.3–1.7 mm; glabrous; nectary scales rectangular, 1.5–1.6 × 0.7–0.8 mm, apices retuse; style included, 1.3–1.5 mm long, glabrous; stigma capitate. Fruit sessile, light brown, 4.0–4.5 × 4.0–4.2 mm, oblong, apex round, glabrous. Seeds yellowish brown, ovoid, 1.45–1.5 mm long, testa slightly reticulate.
Dracophyllum acerosum is somewhat similar to D. kirkii from which it differs in being erect–stemmed, many branched, and with adult leaves that are narrower (0.7–1.5 mm) and with the adaxial lamina surface rugose with fewer teeth per 10 mm (14–21) on the lamina margin. Also the leaf apex is distinctly triquetrous. The adaxial surface of the flower bract differs from that of D. kirkii in having a tuft of scabrid hairs at the apex. The sepals are longer (8–13 mm) with the top adaxial half pubescent. The corolla tube is longer (7–8 mm) with no apical ridge on the corolla lobes that is also glabrous on the adaxial surface. The ovary also differs that it is cylindrical. Dracophyllum acerosum is also similar to D. uniflorum var. frondosum from which it differs in lacking the prominent apical ridge on the petal and having a subacute corolla lobe apex. The margins of the flower bracts are ciliate not serrulate, while the nectary scales are longer (1.5–1.6 cf. 1.2–1.5 mm). The apex of the ovary of D. acerosum is round not truncate like that of D. uniflorum var. frondosum and the style is much shorter (1.3–1.5 cf. 3.0–4.0 mm).
November – May
January - August
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
dracophyllum: Dragon leaf, from its likeness to the dragon tree of the Canary Islands
acerosum: From the Latin acus ‘sharp’, meaning sharp or pointed
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (6 April 2012). Description adapted from Venter (2009).
References and further reading
Venter, S. 2009: A taxonomic revision of the genus Dracophyllum Labill. (Ericaceae). Unpublished Phd Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Dracophyllum acerosum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-acerosum/ (Date website was queried)