curled leaved neinei
Dracophyllum rubrum Colenso; Dracophyllum tenuicaulis Colenso; Dracophyllum brachyphyllum Colenso;Dracophyllum brachycladum Colenso
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
Low growing sprawling shrub bearing curved blue-green narrow pointed hairy leaves clustered towards the tip of twigs inhabiting mountains of the central North Island. Leaves 15-30mm long by 1-3mm wide, upper surface rough. Flowers white, in clusters of 5-8 at end of twigs.
Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (Central Volcanic Plateau and adjacent mountains with an isolated occurrence in the Raukumara Range)
Montane to alpine. Common in open ground on mountain slopes, ridgelines, cliff faces or on plateau within subalpine shrubland, fellfield, grassland, herbfield or tussockland
Many–stemmed shrublet 0.1–0.9 m tall. Branches spreading, decumbent to prostrate and much–branched. Bark on old branches grey to dark grey, smooth, young stems reddish brown. Leaves spreading to mostly recurved, glaucous to light green. Lamina sheath 4.0–6.0 × 3.0–6.5 mm, striate, tapering to truncate and margin membranous, ciliate or only the top half ciliate; lamina 15–40 × 1–2 mm, linear to linear–triangular, adaxial surface rugose to scabrid, abaxial surface glabrous, slightly striated; margin serrulate with 90–120 teeth per 10 mm; apex thickened, obtuse and triquetrous. Inflorescence a terminal spike on lateral branchlets; over-topping leaves, erect, dense, 12–25 mm long, oblong. Flowers 5–8, sessile; inflorescence bracts over-topping flowers, light green to glaucous, 10.0–17.0 × 1.2–1.7 mm, ovate–lanceolate at base, surfaces rugose; margins serrulate; flower bract over-topping flowers, 6.5–9.0 × 4.0–4.5 mm, ovate, surfaces glabrous with a tuft of scabrid hairs at apex on adaxial surface; margins ciliate. Sepals 4.8–6.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm, lanceolate to ovate–lanceolate, equaling corolla tube, with the top half pubescent on adaxial surface; margins ciliate. Corolla white to occasionally light pink; corolla tube 4.0–4.5 × 1.7–2.0 mm, narrowly–campanulate, widened at mouth; corolla lobes reflexed, 1.3–1.7 × 1.4–1.5 mm, ovate–triangular to triangular, shorter than corolla tube; apex acute; adaxial surface papillate. Stamens inserted in middle of the corolla tube, filaments 0.19–0.2 mm long; anthers included, 0.8–1.2 mm long, oblong, initially pink turning light yellow. Ovary 1.5–2.0 × 1.9–2.0 mm, obovate; apex round; nectary scales 0.6–0.7 × 0.5–0.6 mm, rectangular, apices irregularly toothed; style included, 1.5–2.0 mm long, glabrous; stigma capitate. Fruit 3.0–4.0 × 2.8–3.0 mm, light brown, broadly obovoid, apex round, glabrous. Seeds 0.8–0.9 mm, yellowish brown, ovoid, testa slightly reticulate.
Dracophyllum recurvum is a distinctive species which, within its indigenous North Island habitat is unlikely to be confused with any other associated Dracophyllum. The species is recognised by the rugose to scabrid adaxial leaf surface, triquetrous and keeled recurved leaf apices, flowers borne in short stout terminal racemes, very broad flower bracts, sepals equaling the corolla tube and ny the narrowly campanulate corolla tube. Venter (2009) suggests it is most similar to the North-West Nelson endemic Dracophyllum marmoricola from which it differs mainly by having smooth bark, recurved leaves with more (90–120) teeth per 10 mm on the lamina margin. The flower bracts of D. recurvum are also longer than the flowers and the corolla tube is narrowly campanulate rather than cylindrical.
December - April
February - May
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
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (16 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.
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 recurvum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-recurvum/ (Date website was queried)