Epilobium nummularifolium var, brevipes Hook.f.; Epilobium nummularifolium var. minimum Kirk, Epilobium nerteroides var. minimum (Kirk) Cockayne, Epilobium inornatum Melville, Epilobium inornatum var. brevipes (Hook.f.) Melville
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 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. New Zealand North, South, Stewart and Chatham islands. Uncommon in the northern half of the North Island. Also, naturalised in Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and the United States.
A species of open, flushes, seepages, and places where water seasonally ponds. Also a component of lake shore and coastal turf, and open river beds.
Creeping perennial herb forming mats up to 1 m diameter, these tightly appressed to ground. Plants subglabrous or sparsely furnished with round-tipped, appressed, antrorse (occasionaly admixed with appressed retrorse) eglandular hairs in lines decurrent from the margins of the petioles, on the ovaries, capsules, pedicels, sepals, and sometimes on the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces of the foliage near the branch terminals. Flowers arising individually from the leaf axils, the stems continuing to grow and root beyond the point where flowers are produced. Leaves opposite, distant to crowded and imbricate, frequently reflexed, dull reddish-green to coppery, adaxially rugose-impressed, bearing 1-4 lateral veins on each side of the midrib; lamina 2.0-12.0 × 1.5-9.0 mm, usually orbicular, but occasionally oblong or ovate (sometimes with all forms on the same plant), apices subacute to obtuse, base attentuate to obtuse, entire or occasionally with 1-3 remote, weak teeth on each side of leaf; subsessile or with petioles up to 3 mm long. Flowers erect. Ovaries green to red-brown, 2.5-12.0 mm long, subglabrous or sparsely hairy, if hairs present these sometimes denser along value edges; pedicels 1-7(-38) mm long, the flowers falling before full pedicel elongation. Floral tube 0.4-1.0 mm deep, 1.0-1.6 mm diameter, subglabrous or sparsely hairy. Sepals not keeled, glabrous or sparsely hairy, 1.5-2.5 × 6.5-1.0 mm. Petals white, 2-4(-5) × 0.9-2.5(-3.0) mm, notch 0.7-1.2 mm deep. Anthers yellow, 0.35-0.8 × 0.25-0.6 mm, filaments of longer stamens 0.3-1.2 mm long, those of shorter 0.2-0.4 mm, generally both shedding pollen directly on the stigma at or before anthesis. Style white 1.1-1.8(-3.0) mm long; stigma white, clavate or capitate, 0.6-1.1 × 0.5-0.8 mm. Capsule subglabrous or sparsely furnished with hairs, 4-30 mm long, borne on a pedicel 3-93(-135) mm long. Seeds brown, 0.5-0.9(-1.1) × 0.25-0.4 mm, obovoid, smooth; coma 3.0-4.5. mm long, readily detaching.
A distinctive species that differs from E. brunnescenes, and all other small Epilobium species except E. angustum, by having rugose-impressed (dimpled) adaxial (upper) leaf surfaces. It is often confused with Epilobium angustum as both species have similar reddish or copper-tinged leaves with adaxially rugose-impressure surfaces. Epilobium angustum is distinguished from E. komarovianum by the glandular pubescent pedicels, ovaries, sepals and capsules (those of E. komarovianum are subglabrate to very sparsely eglandular hairy), and the seeds have a well marked cellular rim absent in E. komarovianum. Epilobium komarovianum has also been much confused with E. nummularifolium, a species with smooth rather than rugose-impressed adaxial leaf surfaces; consistently serrulate rather than entire or weakly and sparingly toothed leaves, and yellow-green, rather then red-green or copper-coloured leaves. The capsules of Epilobium nummularifolium are grey-strigulose rather than subglabrate to sparsely hairy.
October to March
December to May
Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from rooted pieces and seed. An attractive species that has proved popular in cultivation overseas. This species can, in suitable situations self-establish and has the potential to be a troublesome weed - as has proved the case in the U.K., Ireland, Europe and the United States of America (Raven & Raven 1976).
epilobium: From the Greek epi- ‘upon’ and lobos ‘a pod’, the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.
komarovianum: After Kormarov
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (30 December 2019). Description adapted from Raven & Raven (1976).
References and further reading
Raven, P.H.; Raven, T.E. 1976: The genus Epilobium in Australasia. New Zealand DSIR Bulletin 216. Wellington, Government Printer.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Epilobium komarovianum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/epilobium-komarovianum/ (Date website was queried)