Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs 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.
2n = 36
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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island, eastern Marlborough on high greywacke mountains centred on the headwaters of the upper, Awatere, Clarence and Wairau Rivers. Also in north Canterbury (Mt Terako).
Alpine (1300-1800 m a.s.l.). Inhabiting fine grained scree often just downslope of rock outcrops on sparsely vegetated mountains within the inner dry zone of eastern Marlborough.
Stout, thick almost coriaceous-leaved perennial herb of fine grained scree slopes. Plants branched from woody base. Tap root deeply descending. Leaves subsessile to sessile, crowded on 40-150 tall stems; stems brown or purple, densely glandular-pubescent and with an admixture of shorter non glandular hairs. Leaves mostly opposite, becoming alternate and crowded in the inflorescence, 6-32 x 3-13 mm, dull green to purple-green, narrowly to broadly obovate, apex obtuse to subacute, base attenuate, lamina serrated (with 6-26 teeth), lateral veins evident, 2-4 on either side of midrib. Inflorescence and flowers erect. Ovaries 4-6 mm long, green or dark green, desnely glandular-pubescent, sessile. Floral tube 2 x 2.3 mm, abaxially densely glandular-pubescent with sparse long hairs near base. Petals 7-9 x 3.6-4.4. mm, white, notch 1.5-1.7 mm deep. Anthers yellow, 0.6-0.7 x 0.5-0.6 mm; filaments of longer stamens 2.1-2.5 mm long, those of shorter 1.6-1.7 mm long; stigma 2.0 x 0.7 mm, white, clavate. Capsules subsessile, 10-18 mm long, dark brown, initially glandular-pubescent maturing glabrate. Seeds 1.8-2.0 x 0.8-0.9 mm, purplish-brown, obovoid, smooth; coma 3.6-6.5 mm long, detaching readily, typically remaining in capsule until all seed have fallen out.
Distinguished from all other New Zealand Epilobia except E. astonii (Allan) Raven et Engelhorn and E. pubens A.Rich. by the leaves and inflorescences densely covered in glandular hairs. From E. astonii and E. pubens it is distinguished by the erect inflorescence and subsessile capsules. Epilobium forbesii is further distinguished by its restriction to the sparsely vegetated eastern Marlborough and north Canterbury fine-grained, alpine screes that are present only within the greywacke mountains of the dry zone east of the main divide.
January - March
January - May
Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild
Not Threatened but extremely local hence its listing as Range Restricted.
epilobium: From the Greek epi- ‘upon’ and lobos ‘a pod’, the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 6 January 2008. Description adapted from Raven & Raven (1976) and Webb & Simpson (2001).
References and further reading
Raven, P.H.; Raven, T.E. 1976: The genus Epilobium in Australasia. New Zealand DSIR Bulletin 216. Wellington, Government Printer.
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
Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2011: Seeds of New Zealand Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch, Manuka Press.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Epilobium forbesii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/epilobium-forbesii/ (Date website was queried)