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.
2n = 36
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands from the Cental Volcanic Plateau and Kaimanawa Ranges south to Southland with a mainly easterly distribution.
Montane to alpine on open stony ground, within braided river beds, in tussock grassland, in frost flats and then often within ablation areas.
Tufted, gracile, perennial herb 50-250 mm tall, often much-branched from base, perennating from basal buds; plants ± densely covered throughout with short, crisp, erect or appressed hairs, mostly confined to lines decurrent from the margins of the petioles, especially on upper part of stem. Leaves opposite, a few in inflorescence alternate, longer than or equal to the stem internodes; lateral veins not prominent, 2-3 on each side of the midrib; petiole 0-3 mm; lamina 3-20 × 1-4 mm, dull bluish-green to bronze-green, narrowly elliptic, base attenuate, apex subacute to rounded, serrulate with 0-10 weak teeth on each side. Inflorescence erect, the flowers often distributed well down the stem. Flowers erect. Ovaries 6-14 mm long, finely and uniformly stigulose, pedicellate, pedicels 1-6 mm long. Floral tube 0.6-1.3 × 1.2-2.0 mm, adaxially strigulose. Sepals 1.6-4.5 × 0.7-1.2 mm, ovate-lanceolate, not keeled, strigulose. Petals 2.5-8.2 × 1.8-4.3 mm, white, sometimes whitish-pink,if white then flushing pink after pollination, notch 0.9-1.4 mm deep. Stamen filaments white, of two types: long (0.5-3.2 mm long) and short (0.3-1.5 mm long). Anthers 0.5-1.2 × 0.3-0.5 mm, cream. Style 0.8-4.9 mm long, white; stigma 0.8-1.9 x 0.4-0.6 mm, white, clavate, surrounded by the longer or both sets of stamens at anthesis. Capsule 18-28 mm long, glaucescent, strigulose (rarely sparsely so) with denser lines of hairs conspicuous along edges of valves and sometimes with a green line along valve dehiscence, on a pedicel 13-27 mm long. Seeds 0.8-1.3 mm long, orange to orange-brown, oblong-obovate to obovate, apex rounded, base subacute, finely reticulate; coma 4-6 mm long, white, caducous.
Epilobium hectorii is distinguished from other epilobia by the glaucescent to bronze-green leaves which are longer or equal to the internodes and narrowly elliptic, bearing 0-10 weak teeth either side; erect inflorescences; white (rarely whitish-pink) petals at anthesis; abaxially glabrous floral tube; by the absence of glandular hairs on the ovary, which is otherwise invested in fine, uniformly strigulose hairs; by the glaucescent, strigulose, capsules ranging from 18-28 mm long; and by the finely reticulate seeds. It is most similar to Epilobium krulleanum which was included within it by Raven & Raven (1976) but which is maintained here as a species. From Epilobium hectorii, E. krulleanum differs by its larger pink flowers whose petals range from 5.6-9.0 × 3.8-5.5 mm, and with a deeper notch (1.2-1.6 mm cf. 0.9-1.4 mm in E. hectorii), and by the seeds which are 1.3-1.8 mm long, brown, obovate and rather conspicuously papillate, and furnished with a longer coma (6-8 mm cf. 4-6 mm long in E. hectorii). Epilobium krulleanum is less widespread than E. hectorii being chiefly found in the intermontane basins of the upper Awatere and Clarence Rivers, South Marlborough, as well as the intermontane basins of Canterbury.
November - February
December - April
Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed. Dislikes humid conditions.
epilobium: From the Greek epi- ‘upon’ and lobos ‘a pod’, the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.
hectorii: Named after Sir James Hector, 19th century New Zealand geologist and botanist who was originally from Scotland
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (4 September 2011). 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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Epilobium hectorii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/epilobium-hectorii/ (Date website was queried)