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 | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous: New Zealand: South Island (from Nelson to Southland). Australia (New South Wales and Tasmania)
Alpine in moist places in fellfield, herbfield at the bases of cliff faces or in the shelter of rocks. Also inhabiting fine-grained scree, often in the vicinity of areas of snow-melt or glacial cirques.
Perennial, matted, creeping alpine herb, stems rooting at nodes, much interwoven, or with erect reddish stems up to 150 mm tall; stems glabrous or with lines of fine strigulose hairs decurrent from the margins of the petioles. Leaves mostly opposite, alternate in the inflorescence, longer than the internodes they subtend, glossy, the lateral veins barely visible, 1-3 on each side of the midrib; petiole 1-2 mm long, usually appressed to main stem; lamina 6-20 × 2-55 mm, bright green, narrowly elliptic or elliptic, base attenuate, apex acute to subentire, margins serrulate, with 3-5 teeth on each side, or subentire. Inflorescence nodding in erect forms, the flowers scattered well down the stem. Flowers erect. Ovaries 9-12 mm long, glabrous, pedicels 1.5-5.0 mm. Floral tube 0.5-1.1 × 1.2-2.2 mm, glabrous. Sepals 1.7-3.5 × 0.9-1.4 mm. not keeled, glabrous, often reddish-margined. Petals 3.3-5.0 × 1.5-3.6 mm, the notch 0.5-1.1 mm deep. white. Stamen filaments white of two types: long (1.0-2.5 mm long) and short (0.5-1.8 mm long). Anthers 0.4-0.45 × 0.3-0.4 mm, yellow. Style 1.0-1.6 mm long, white; stigma 0.9-2.2 x 0.5-0.7 mm, white, clavate. Capsule 8-22 mm long, bright-green, ± succulent, glabrous, on a pedicel 2-40 mm long. Seeds 0.9-1.2 mm long, orange to orange-brown, obovate, apex rounded, base subacute, finely papillate; coma 3-5 mm long, white, caducous.
Epilobium tasmanicum is distinguished from other New Zealand epilobia by the restriction to the South Island where it inhabits alpine areas only; bright green, narrowly elliptic or elliptic Leaves that are 6-20 × 2-55 mm with 3-5 teeth on each side; by the nodding inflorescence; flowers with sepals 1.7-3.5 × 0.9-1.4 mm; white petals, and glabrous ovaries; and by the bright-green, glabrous, somewhat fleshy 8-22 mm long capsule.
December - March
January - April
Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Best grown in a rockery or alpine house. Dislikes humidity and warmth.
epilobium: From the Greek epi- ‘upon’ and lobos ‘a pod’, the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.
tasmanicum: Of or from Tasmania (Australia); named in honour of 17th century Dutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603-1659)
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (31 August 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 tasmanicum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/epilobium-tasmanicum/ (Date website was queried)