asbestos Inaka, asbestos turpentine tree
None (described in 2002)
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 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) – 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.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. 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. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: OL
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: OL
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Sprawling grassy shrub with many branches bearing long narrow pointed leaves towards their tip and inhabiting a small area of the upper Takaka River. Leaves blue-green to brown-green, 21-50mm long, very narrow, base enclosing stem. Flowers small, white, tubular, in small groups at tops of twigs.
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island, restricted to the Cobb and Takaka valleys in Kahurangi National Park, North-West Nelson.
Montane to subalpine (457-1000 m a.s.l.). Dracophyllum ophioliticum is restricted to serpentinite rocks with asbestos veins, where it grows in rock crevices, or in greyish to reddish brown clay loam on steep mountain slopes within opens ground or amongst Leptospermum scoparium shrub/wood.
Shrub 0.3m-1.0 m tall but reaching 2.0 m in shade, multi-stemmed, decumbent; bark grey and finely fissured. Leaves spreading and crowded at the tips of branches, sheathing at base; sheath glaucous to light green, 4-9 mm x4-8 mm, coriaceous, striate, shoulder rounded to truncate, margin ciliate; lamina coriaceous, glaucous to light green, linear-triangular, 2-50 x 1.0-2.5 mm, slightly concave, surfaces minutely verrucose and covered in short, white scabrid caducous hairs; margin serrulate, with 10-13 teeth per cm; apex triquetrous. Inflorescence an oblong raceme terminating lateral branchlets, dense, 13-28 mm long with 3-9 flowers; inflorescence bracts persistent, longer than flower, coriaceous, subulate, 13.9-22.2 x 0.7-0.9 mm at base, rugose with serrulate margin; flower bract persistent, shorter than flower, coriaceous, keeled, broadly ovate, 4.5-8.0 x 2.5-4.0 mm, adaxial surface scabrid in distal third, abaxial surface with scabrid hairs; margin white, ciliate; apex acute. Pedicel 1.5-2.0 mm long. Sepals green, ovate-lanceolate, 4-6 x1.5-3.0 mm, shorter than corolla tube, adaxial surface glabrous with scabrid hairs at apex; abaxial surface with scattered scabrid hairs; margin white, ciliate; apex acute. Corolla white; tube cylindrical with mouth narrowed, 5.5-6.5 x 2.0-2.5 mm, glabrous; lobes reflexed, triangular, shorter than corolla tube, 1.8-2.0 x 1.5-2.0 mm, apex inflexed, subacute, adaxial surface papillate, abaxial surface glabrous. Stamens epipetalous, in upper third of corolla tube, filaments 0.5 mm long; anthers light yellow, oblong, 1 mm long, included. Nectary scales separate, rectangular, 1.0- 1.2 x 0.6-0.7 mm, apex truncate and emarginate to variously toothed, glabrous; ovary obovate, 1.5 x 1.5 mm, glabrous; style enclosed, 1.5 mm long, glabrous; stigma 5-lobed. Capsule pedicellate, light brown, 2.7-4.0 x 2.5-2.7 mm, obovoid, glabrous, enclosed in persistent sepals; style persistent; seed yellowish brown, ovoid, 0.8-1.0 mm long, surface prominantly reticulate.
Similar to D. filifolium but differs in being multi-stemmed, stems decumbent, leaves glaucous, minutely verrucose and covered with scabrid hairs when young; flower pedicellate, flower bracts shorter than the flower and keeled, abaxial surface scabrid; sepals shorter than corolla tube, 2-3 mm wide, abaxial surface with scattered scabrid hairs; mouth of corolla tube narrowed and the ovary obovate.
January - March
March - May
Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild
Not Threatened. Listed because it is naturally confined to several small areas of ultramafic rock and soils in North-West Nelson.
dracophyllum: Dragon leaf, from its likeness to the dragon tree of the Canary Islands
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (4 January 2004). Description adapted from Venter (2002)
References and further reading
Venter, S. 2002: Dracophyllum marmoricola and Dracophyllum ophioliticum (Ericaceae), two new species from north-west Nelson, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 40: 39-47.
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Dracophyllum ophioliticum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-ophioliticum/ (Date website was queried)