None (described in 1952)
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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Low-growing shrub with many erect twigs bearing untidy tufts of blue-green leaves that become narrower as the plant matures. Adult leaves striped, 12-52mm long by 1-3.5mm wide, with fine hairs at base (lens needed). Flowers white, in short (6-8mm) clusters of 1-4 at top of short side branches.
Endemic. North West Nelson from Cape Farewell and Port Puponga south to the West Whanganui Inlet
Coastal to lowland on coal measures, on tertiary sandstones and conglomerates (rarely on limestone) in shrubland, often in sites that have been frequently burned in the past.
Multi–stemmed shrub 0.2–3.0 m tall. Bark on old branches grey, finely fissured, young stems yellowish to reddish brown. Leaves dimorphic. Juvenile leaves spirally arranged along branches, spreading, light green to glaucous; lamina sheath 6–10 × 9–11 mm, shoulders tapering and margins ciliate in upper half; lamina 60.0–125.0 × 5.0–7.0 mm,linear–triangular to lanceolate, margin minutely serrulate with 50–70 teeth per 10 mm. Adult leaves spreading, glaucous; lamina sheath 3–7 × 2.2–6.0 mm, striate, shoulders rounded to auricled and margin membranous with the top half ciliate; lamina 12.0–52.0 × 1.0–3.5 mm, subulate to linear–triangular, surfaces scabrid, prominently striated; margin serrulate with 60–100 teeth per 10 mm. Inflorescence a terminal spike on lateral branchlets; shorter than leaves, erect, lax, 5.5–14.0 mm long, oblong; inflorescence bracts overtopping flowers, glaucous, ovate–lanceolate at base, 6.0–18.0 × 0.7–2.0 mm, surfaces widely scabrid; margins serrulate. Flowers hidden by the leaves, 1–4, sessile; flower bracts shorter than flowers, 5.0–7.0 × 0.6–1.5 mm, narrowly ovate, adaxial surface rugose with a basal tuft of scabrid hairs; abaxial surface scabrid and rugose; margins serrulate. Sepals 4.5–6.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm,lanceolate to narrowly ovate, longer than corolla tube, striate, adaxial surfaces glabrous with the top half pubescent; abaxial surfaces pubescent; margins ciliate or ciliate in upper half. Corolla white; corolla tube 3.5–5.0 × 2.4–2.5 mm, cylindrical; corolla lobes spreading, 1,8–2.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm, triangular, shorter than corolla tube, apices inflexed, subacute; glabrous. Stamens inserted in corolla tube in the upper third, filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long; anthers included, 1.2–1.3 mm long, oblong, light yellow.Ovary obovate, 1.3–2.0 × 1.3–1.5 mm, apex pubescent, truncate; nectary scales 1.0–1.5 × 0.5–0.7 mm, rectangular, apices obtuse to retuse; style included, 1.2–2.0 mm long, glabrous; stigma five–lobed. Fruit1.5–3.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm, obovoid, dark brown; apex truncate, shortly pubescent. Seeds 1.0–1.3 mm long, cream coloured, ovoid, testa slightly reticulate.
Dracophyllum trimorphum is readily identified by the three distinct growth stages evident in the shape and size of the leaves. Leaves of the first juvenile stage are large becoming smaller in the middle juvenile stage and ultimately small and narrow in the adult stage. It is also distinguished by the glaucous adult leaves that are prominently striated with the basal part of the lamina covered in dense scabrid hairs, 1–4-flowered and 6–8 mm long inflorescence, with the upper surface of the flower bracts pubescent in the top half, sepals shorter than the corolla tube and the top of the ovary covered in short hairs that sometimes appear papillate when the scabrid hairs are very short.
October - December
December - May
Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
Not Threatened. Listed because it is a narrow range endemic. This species is abundant within its few known habitats, and most populations occur on secure land.
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 (3 October 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 trimorphum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-trimorphum/ (Date website was queried)