Oncostylus pusillus (Petrie) F.Bolle
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 = 70
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 – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: Central Otago (Old Man and Garvie Ranges)
Alpine. Inhabiting snow banks and flushes. Usually found within Ranunculus L. or Kelleria Endl. mats, or amongst Coprosma niphophila Orchard.
Diminutive, purple-brown to bronze-green, herb forming diffuse, prostrate patches. Plants at flowering 10-100 mm tall. Root stock slender, ± ascending, apex densely covered in long persistent, fibrous leaf remnants. Basal leaves up to 25(-45) mm long, pinnate; lateral leaflets small, in up to 5-(7) pairs; terminal leaflet 3-7(-10) mm long; lamina suborbicular, crenate-dentate, occasionally obscurely 3-5-lobed, hairs strigose, white, sparse; lateral leaflets 3-5 pairs, similar to basal leaves but smaller. Scapes 10-100 mm tall at flowering, bracts (0-)1(-3), pubescent. Flowers solitary, minute; calyx-lobes ovate. Petals 5-6, white, (0.9-)1.2-1.5 mm long, ± oblong to somewhat oblong-truncate. Receptacle elongate, villous. Achenes minute, glabrous, obliquely obovoid-oblong, style remnant minute, recurved.
Geum pusillum is superficially similar to reduced forms of G. leiospermum Petrie which may bear only solitary flowers. From such plants G. pusillum differs by the pubescent peduncle which lacks the intermixed long hairs usually found in G. leiospermum, and also by the lateral leaflets which are usually not as reduced in relation to the terminal leaflet
November – February
Achenes are dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Can be grown in pots in an alpine house. Best from fresh seed.
geum: Possibly from the Greek geuo ‘to give a pleasant flavour’, the roots of some species being aromatic.
pusillum: Insignificant, weak
Where To Buy
Not Commercially Available.
Description based on herbarium specimens and both Allan (1961) and Webb et al. (1988)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington
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.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. 4. Christchurch, New Zealand, Botany Division, D.S.I.R.