Bamboo orchid, summer earina
Vascular – Native
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 = 40, 41
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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Coastal forest, where it is usually a low epiphyte on tree trunks and branches. Occasionally found on cliff faces and rock outcrops
Epiphytic or rupestral, rhizomatous, perennial, producing numerous leafy, unbranched, long persistent, wiry, cane-like stems up to 600 mm long. Rhizomes extensive, much intertwined and firmly attached to substrate, fleshy, more or less spongy, initially creamy white maturing buff-yellow. Leaf-sheaths imbricating, persistent, distichously arranged, 5-12 mm long, 4-8 mm diameter, not split, tubular, flattened, each overlapping with and covering the lower third to one half of the leaf-sheath above, exposed surface ivory to pale whitish-yellow, distinctly dark maculate with broad, long oblong to oblong-ovoid dark purple-black spots. Leaf-sheath junction with leaf lamina distinctly flared. Leaves weakly flexuose scarcely curved in upper portion; lamina short-lived, disarticulating at leaf-sheath junction, prominent 3-nerved, 60-100 x 6-8 mm, green to dark green, lanceolate, tapering in upper third gradually to an acute, minutely acicular tip; lateral veins conspicuous, midrib of upper lamina deeply and prominently channelled. Inflorescence a racemose panicle. Panicle up to 80 mm long, mostly pendulous; racemes 2-8, usually well spaced on fine, slender, wiry axis, each 20-40 mm long; floral bracts c. 4.0-4.5 mm long, scarcely overlapping, prominently longitudinally ridged, completely covering the very short pedicels. Perianth 10-14 mm diameter, opening widely (flaring), pale, slightly greenish-cream to greenish yellow. Sepals elliptic, subacute. Petals slightly broader and more obtuse. Labellum broader and very conspicuous, yellow-orange to deep apricot, flaring widely at flowering, broadly oblong with broader proximal portion connect by a narrow waist-like neck to the almost equally broad distal lobe; base with two inconspicuous ridges leading down to a small pit-like nectary. Column shorter than labellum, narrow to base, wings absent or minute, pollinia long-oval. Capsules elliptic-ovoid, ovoid, deeply, longitudinally grooved, yellow green to green maturing grey.
Earina mucronata Lindl., from which E. aestivalis differs by its shorter stems, flaring and broader leaf-sheaths, and distinctly broader leaves, broad, prominently deeply depressed and channelled, midrib, larger oblong to oblong-ovoid dark purple spotting along the stem, larger and fewer flowers, generally longer column, and by its later flowering time (usually late summer, rather than spring to early summer) Some people maintain that E. aestivalis flowers are fragrant while E. mucronata are not. No clear distinction is evident.
December - March
January - August
Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Can be grown from the division of established plants. Rooted pieces should be strapped to a log, fern trunk or wood slab and suspended in a sheltered, warm position. Water frequently until well established. Should not be removed from the wild.
aestivalis: Pertaining to summer
Where To Buy
Occasionally offered by specialist native plant nurseries
Chatham Island plants are problematic. They seem to grade into E. mucronata Elsewhere this species seems reasonably distinctive. However, further study into the status of this species is needed.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 April 2007. Description based on herbarium and fresh material - see also de Lange et al. (2007)
References and further reading
de Lange, P.; Rolfe, J. St George, I. Sawyer J. 2007: Wild orchids of the lower North Island. Department of Conservation, 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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Earina aestivalis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/earina-aestivalis/ (Date website was queried)