Geranium sessiliflorum var. arenarium
Geranium sessiliflorum subp. novae-zelandiae var. arenarium (G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson) Carolin
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 = 52
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 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD, DP, RR
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP, RR
2009 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP, RR
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. South Island, South of Otago Peninsula throughout the Foveaux Strait area and in northern Stewart Island
Coastal. Mainly found in sand country - usually in dune swales or on shallowly sloping beaches. Sometimes on or near rock outcrops or within peaty soils near seepages or within coastal turfs.
All parts softly and finely pilose. Leaves orbicular, closely lobed, divided at base, unusually appressed to the ground, petioles and peduncles tinged with purple, blade pale glaucous grey. Flowers white
Most similar to G. brevicaule Hook.f. from which it differs mainly by the softly silvery-pilose, glaucescent to silvery leaves which are slightly larger in size. The flowers appear to be smaller. A poorly known taxon whose exact status requires further clarification. It does, however, appear to be distinct from the other variants now included in G. brevicaule.
October - March
December - June
Easily grown from seed. An excellent pot plant. Does well in full sun in a free draining substrate.
Not Threatened. However, may yet qualify for a listing of Naturally Uncommon as it is never that common at any particular location and yet occupies a large range. Possibly at risk in its preferred sand dune habitats from the spread of marram grass (Ammophila arenaria).
geranium: From the Greek geranos ‘crane’, the fruit of the plant resembling the head and beak of this bird, hence the common name cranesbill.
sessiliflorum: With unstalked flowers
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Allan (1961) treats G. brevicaule Hook.f. as a synonym of G. sessiliflorum var. arenarium, incorrectly stating that the type locality of G. brevicaule is Chalky Inlet, Fiordland, New Zealand when it is Tasmania (Aedo et al. 2005). Fiordland plants appear to match G. sessiliflorum var. arenarium, and together with plants from Stewart Island, the Foveaux Strait and coastal portion of Otago these plants do not fit closely any of the other plants within New Zealand or Australia now attributed to G. brevicaule (cf. Aedo et al. 2005). Therefore pending further study NZPCN prefer to regard this variety as distinct from G. brevicaule (see also Mitchell et al. 2009), and as it has no published rank yet within that species, we use the only published name available for it G. sessiliflorum var. arenarium.
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange 28 July 2007.
References and further reading
Aedo, C.; Navarroa, C.; Alarcon, M.L. 2005: Taxonomic revision of Geranium sections Andina and Chilensia (Geraniaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 149(1): 1-68
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer.
Mitchell, A. D., P. B. Heenan, and A. M. Paterson. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of Geranium species indigenous to New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 21-31.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Geranium sessiliflorum var. arenarium Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/geranium-sessiliflorum-var-arenarium/ (Date website was queried)