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.
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. South Island. West Otago and Fiordland, subalpine to almost sea level in fiords.
Subalpine to almost sea level in fiords. Boggy ground in sub-alpine meadow, shrubby-tussockland, tussock grassland.
Slender sparingly-branched annual herb 50-200 mm tall, branches bifariously white-pubescent and more or less glandular-pilose, internodes very elongated. Leaves sessile, up to 10-12 x 7-8 mm, more or less obovate-cuneate with 2-3 pairs of acute teeth, sometimes almost suborbicular with teeth obtuse, glabrous or with sparse long glandular hairs, sometimes sparsely white-pubescent, margins thickened and revolute. Flowers, few towards the tips of the branches, pedicels short or up to 10 mm in flower, usually elongated and up to 25 mm in fruit. Calyx 4-6 mm long, sometimes enlarged in fruit up to 12 x 8 mm, pilose with long glandular hairs and sometimes also white-pubescent; lobes acute to obtuse, margins and midribs thickened. Corolla white, approximately 10-12 mm long; tube slightly to much longer than calyx; lobes of lower lip 1.5-3 mm wide, entire. Anthers yellow to golden brown, margins sparsely hairy to glabrous, awns slender, almost equal. Capsule approximately equal to calyx or much shorter, approximately 5-6 x 5 mm, obovate, finely setose at apex; seeds approximately 4-6 per locule.
Similar in appearance to Euphrasia zelandica and was previously thought to be merely a varietal of that species. E. zelandica is generally smaller in stature than E. australis, up to 100 mm high compared to 200 mm, having a slenderer appearance. The flower pedicels are longer on E. australis, up to 10mm compared to up to 4 mm in E. zelandica. E. zelandica has shorter white hairs compared longer more sparse glandular hairs on E. australis. E. zelandica has a larger distribution range (see that species fact sheet), E. australis is restricted to West Otago and Fiordland.
November - April
December - April
Seeds is dispersed by wind and possibly water and ballistic projection (Thorsen et al., 2009).
An early entity known as E. crosby-smithii Petrie was described from a single collecting “Wet alpine meadow on Mount Cleughearn, Fiord County, about 5,000 ft.; J. Crosby Smith”. The type sheet (W 4852) contains 3 tiny plants 20 mm high with flowers and capsules on pedicels up to 5 mm long. Apart from unusually small size these cannot be separated from the other E. australis/zelandica forms of Fiordland
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by M. Ward (30 October 2020) Description adapted from Allan (1961).
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
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Volume 1. Wellington: Government Printer. pg.857.
Petrie, D. 1916. Descriptions of New Native Phanerogams. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 48: pg. 186-192.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: Ward, M.D. (Year at time of access): Euphrasia australis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/euphrasia-australis/ (Date website was queried)