Included by Raven & Raven (1976) within a broad circumscription of Epilobium glabellum G.Forst.
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) – 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.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. 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. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic to the western side of the South Island of New Zealand where it is known only from North West Nelson to South Westland.
Montane to subalpine screes and rock outcrops.
Stout herb with woody base. Branches up to 20 cm long, reddish-green, numerous, decumbent at base, then ascending, erect at tips. Leaves (6-)15(-20) × (3-)8-10) mm, narrow-oblong to ovate-oblong, margins obscurely toothed, very glossy, dark green, often reddish. Flowers pink 12-20 mm diameter, with the broad petals deeply lobed. Capsules hairless, 15-25 mm long. Seeds brown 0.8-1.4 mm.
This species is closely allied to E. glabellum - with which it was placed by Raven & Raven (1976). It differs from that species and those allied to it by its ecological preference for base-rich rocks (e.g., limestone, marble), it decumbent habit, very glossy leaves, and much larger, pale pink, deeply lobed flowers.
December - February
January - April
Minute pappate seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from seed and rooted pieces of stem.
Always considered uncommon (Allan 1961). Although it would seem unlikely to be seriously threatened the exact status of this species throughout its range is uncertain, a situation exacerbated because it is treated by Raven & Raven (1976) and Webb et al. (1988: Flora 4) as part of the range of variation exhibited by the very common E. glabellum. This has meant that most recent field surveys have not specifically recognised it.
epilobium: From the Greek epi- ‘upon’ and lobos ‘a pod’, the flowers appearing to be growing on the seed pod.
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
References and further reading
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Epilobium vernicosum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/epilobium-vernicosum/ (Date website was queried)