Dracophyllum setifolium Stchegl.; Dracophyllum pungens Colenso; Dracophyllum virgatum Colenso; Dracophyllum heterophyllum Colenso; Dracophyllum ×vulcanicum; Dracophyllum urvillianum var. filifolium Cheeseman; Dracophyllum collinum W.R.B. Oliv.; Dracophyllum filifolium var. centrale W.R.B. Oliv.; Dracophyllum filifolium var. collinum 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.
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
Shrub or small tree (up to 4 m tall) of lowland to montane forest, shrubland and grassland. Leaves grass-like, erect. Flowers white, borne in spikes, with the inflorescence bracts and flower bracts distinctly longer than the flowers.
Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands from Huiarau Range south.
Dracophyllum filifolium is found in lowland to montane forest, shrubland and grassland from sea level (southern part of range only) along mountain slopes on saddles and mountain ridges up 1500 m altitude.
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).
FACU: Facultative Upland
Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands (non-wetlands).
Erect multi–stemmed shrub or tree, 1–4 m tall. Bark on old branches grey to brown, finely fissured, young stems reddish brown. Leaves erect to spreading;lamina sheath 6.0–16.0 × 3.0–5.5 mm, membranous, shoulders tapering to auricled, margins ciliate in the upper half; lamina linear to linear–triangular, 40.0–200.0 × 0.7–1.5 mm, surfaces glabrous with a tuft of scabrid hairs at base of adaxial surface, slightly striated; margins serrulate with 18–25 teeth per 10 mm; apex acute to weakly triquetrous. Inflorescence a terminal spike on lateral branchlets, shorter than leaves, erect to drooping, dense, 20–30 mm long, linear–oblong; inflorescence bract over-topping flowers, ovate–lanceolate, 8.5–17 × 2–4 mm, surfaces glabrous; margins ciliate. Flowers 5–10, sessile; flower bracts over-topping flowers, broadly–ovate; 5.6–13.0 × 3.0–4.0 mm, surfaces glabrous with a tuft of scabrid hair at base of adaxial surface, margins ciliate. Sepals 4.0–6.0 × 1.5–1.7 mm, ovate–lanceolate, occasionally ovate, equaling corolla tube, surfaces glabrous; margins ciliate. Corolla white; corolla tube 3.5–6.0 × 1.8–2.5 mm, cylindrical; corolla lobes reflexed, 1.5–2.0 × 1.5–1.6 mm, ovate, shorter than corolla tube, apices subacute to acute; surfaces glabrous. Stamens inserted on corolla tube in upper third, filaments 0.2–0.3 mm long; anthers included, oblong, light yellow and 1 mm long. Ovary subglobose, 1.5–2.0 × 1.0–1.5 mm, glabrous, apex round; nectary scales 0.7–1.0 × 0.5–0.7 mm, oblong; apices obtuse to retuse; style included, 1–2 mm long, glabrous; stigma five–lobed. Fruit sessile, 2.0–2.5 × 2.0–2.2 mm,light brown, obovoid, apex round, glabrous. Seeds 0.8–1.2 mm long, yellowish brown, filiform, testa slightly reticulate.
Dracophyllum filifolium is recognised by the spicate inflorescences which are 17–24 mm long; by the inflorescence bracts and flower bracts distinctly longer than the flower; by the sepals equal to the corolla tube which is 3.0–4.5 mm long; bythe corolla lobes 1.5–2.0 mm wide, and by the nectary scales whch are 1.0–1.3 mm long and have obtuse apices. Dracophyllum filifolium is similar to D. urvilleanum and D. lessonianum species with which it never grows and from which it differs in leaf, inflorescence and flower characters given above.
November – June
Throughout the year
Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
dracophyllum: Dragon leaf, from its likeness to the dragon tree of the Canary Islands
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (4 June 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 filifolium Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-filifolium/ (Date website was queried)