Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
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.
2018 | At Risk – Relict
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | At Risk – Relict | Qualifiers: DP, SO
2012 | Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable | Qualifiers: DP, SO
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable | Qualifiers: DP, SO
2004 | Gradual Decline
Indigenous. Common in Australia. In New Zealand known from the far north (from Te Paki to about Dargaville), west of Auckland, near Waiouru, and the South Island from near Bluff Hill. It is probably present elsewhere but its small size and often reddish colouration makes it difficult to see in the open, clay pans and peaty ground it favours.
Coastal to subalpine. Usually in gumland and pakihi shrublands and adjoining wetlands, especially peat bogs. Also present on seasonally damp clay pans developed over ultramafic soils. This species requires open ground and will not long persist in the presence of other taller plants.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Diminutive, annual to biennial, dark red, bright green or yellow-green plants forming rosettes 5–20 mm diameter. Gemma, 40–70 per plant, 0.7–0.8 × 0.6 mm, reniform, flattened, dark red or green; appearing February–June. Leaves 6–12, radical; stipules 1.1–5.0 × 0.5–0.9 mm, attached to base of upper petiole surface, laciniate, hyaline to silvery-white, trifid, central lobe cut 2–3 times, lateral lobes 2-pointed; petiole 3–6 × 0.4–0.5 mm, linear, narrowing towards lamina, glabrous; lamina 1.5–2.0 × 2.0–2.6 mm, subpeltate, peltate, suborbicular to orbicular, dark red, bright green, or yellow-green, upper surface deeply concave, glandular hairs 1.5–2.8 mm. Inflorescence scapigerous; scapes 5.0–18.0 × 0.2 mm, erect, wiry, dark red, bright green or yellow-green, surface sparsely glandular-papillate. Flowers 1–per scape, 3 mm diameter, tetramerous, white, scentless. Sepals 4, 1.0–0.6 mm, obovate, upper ½ irregularly toothed, dark red, green or green-red, glabrous. Petals 4, 1.5–1.8 × 1.2–1.4 mm, narrowly obovate to obovate, white. Stamens 4, 0.6–0.8 mm, filaments white, anthers light yellow. Fruit 1.6 × 1.4 mm, orbicular, orbicular-obovate, dark red, green or green-red, containing up to 40 seeds. Seeds 0.4 × 0.25 mm, ovoid, black, surface deeply scalariform.
The much more common and large D. spatulata is often confused for D. pygmaea. From D. spatulata, D. pygmaea can be immediately recognised by the prominent, erect tuft of stipules, which are much longer than the associated leaves.
Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult and should not be removed from the wild.
At serious risk over much of its known range from wetland drainage and the spread of larger, faster growing weeds. Probably extinct in the Auckland area due to drain clearance and road maintenance,and it may now have gone from the Central Volcanic Plateau as a consequence of the spread of faster growing naturalised grasses into some of the key wetland habitats it was known from. Still common from Kaitaia and Doubtless Bay north, though here too many of its key habitats are either drained, being drained or are vulnerable to spread of taller and faster growing weeds.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2008). Description based on Salmon (2001), live and herbarium specimens - see also de Lange et al. (2010).
References and further reading
de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.
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
Salmon, B. 2001: Carnivorous plants of New Zealand. Ecosphere Publications, Manurewa.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Drosera pygmaea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/drosera-pygmaea/ (Date website was queried)