Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum
sprawling inaka, sprawling turpentine scrub
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: Dp, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: PD
2004 | Range Restricted
Low-growing grassy shrub with branches that droop down slopes and tufts of narrow wavy leaves at tips of twigs. Leaves 18-34mm long by 0.5-1.5mm wide. Flowers white, tubular, 7-10mm long, solitary at the tips of short side branches.
South Marlborough, central and eastern Otago.
Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum is an land lowland to montane plant of rocky gorges and river sides and on cliff faces, especially in the schist country of eastern Otago where it can be locally abundant.
Spreading to decumbent multi–stemmed shrub 0.50–1.0 m tall. Bark on old branches greyish to dark brown, finely fissured, young stems reddish brown. Leaves erect to spreading; lamina sheath, 3.5–7.5 × 2.0–5.0 mm, light green to olive green, margin membranous, shoulders rounded to auricled, ciliate or only the top half ciliate; lamina 18.0–58.0 × 0.5–2.0 mm, light green to olive green, linear, adaxial surface minutely rugose with a tuft of scabrid hairs at base, abaxial surface glabrous; margins serrulate with 60–80 teeth per 10 mm; apex triquetrous and keeled. Inflorescence a terminal, solitary, erect flower on lateral branches, shorter than leaves; flower bract over-topping the flower, foliose, coriaceous, 5.5–11.0 × 0.4–1.2 mm linear; adaxial surface scabrid, abaxial surface glabrous, margin serrulate. Sepals 4.5–9.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm, lanceolate, equaling corolla tube, surfaces glabrous with the top half pubescent on adaxial surface; margins serrulate. Corolla white; corolla tube 5.5–7.0 × 1.5–4.0 mm, cylindrical, widened at mouth, exterior glabrous; corolla lobes reflexed, 1.4–1.5 × 1.0–1.2 mm, ovate–triangular to triangular, shorter than corolla tube, apices inflexed, acute; apical ridge prominent, adaxial surface papillate. Stamens inserted on corolla tube in upper third, filaments 0.3–1.2 mm long; anthers included, oblong, light yellow, 1.0–1.2 mm long. Ovary 2.5–4.5 × 1.2–2.5 mm, cylindrical, apex truncate; nectary scales 1.2–1.5 × 0.5–0.7 mm, rectangular, apices subacute to retuse; style included, 2–4 mm long, glabrous; stigma five–lobed. Fruit sessile, 4.0–4.2 × 2.0–3.0 mm, light brown, broadly obovoid, apex truncate, glabrous. Seed 0.6–0.7 mm long, brown, ovoid, testa slightly reticulate.
Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum is distinguished by the lax, spreading growth habit (often with arching and/or pendulous branches); by the erect–spreading leaves that are 25–50 mm long with ciliate lamina sheaths and a prominent tuft of scabrid hairs at the base on the adaxial surface of the lamina; by the solitary flowers, and flower bracts which are longer than the flowers; by the corolla tube which is equal in length to the sepals; by the densely papillate corolla lobes and by the cylindrical ovary with truncate apex. Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum is most closely allied to D. rosmarinifolium (which was once known as D. uniflorum var. uniflorum) with which it sometimes grows and from which it differs in the lax habit and scrambling stems. The flower bract is also longer than the flower and narrower (0.5-1.0 mm compared to 1.0-2.0 mm in D. rosmarinifolium) with the adaxial surface scabrid. The sepal in Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum equals the corolla tube and the adaxial surface texture of the sepal is pubescent in the top half and it is also longer (7-10 mm) and wider (2.0-3.0 mm compared to 1.2-2.5 mm in D. rosmarinifolium) than the corolla tube; the corolla lobes are shorter (1.4-1.5 mm compared to 2.0-2.5 mm in D. rosmarinifolium), with longer (1.0-1.2 mm compared to 0.3-0.5 mm in D. rosmarinifolium) filaments. Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum also has a longer (2.5-4.5 mm) cylindrical ovary with a truncate apex and a longer (3-4 mm) style.
December – February
March - August
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Nelson lakes Area, eastern Otago).
dracophyllum: Dragon leaf, from its likeness to the dragon tree of the Canary Islands
uniflorum: One flowered
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Venter (2009) argues that Dracophyllum uniflorum var. frondosum should be elevated to species rank. However until such time as this happens this plant can only be known by its varietal name. Dracophyllum uniflorum s.s. Venter (2009) regards as a synonym of D. rosmarinifolium.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (6 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 uniflorum var. frondosum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/dracophyllum-uniflorum-var-frondosum/ (Date website was queried)