Haastia pulvinaris var. pulvinaris
Haastia pulvinaris Hook.f.
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledonous composites
2n = 60
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
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. South Island: Marlborough to Canterbury (east of the main divide).
Subalpine and alpine fellfield and rocks among screes.
Stout perennial forming rounded very compact masses up to 2 x 1 m diameter; branchlets with leaves c.20 mm diameter, densely compacted. Leaves c.8-10 × 6-10 mm; apices thickened and crenulate and concealed by dense brush of long tangled slightly fulvous hairs, both surfaces or underside only clad in long hairs; veins 3-15, anastomosing above. Receptacle flat or slightly convex, c.5 mm diameter. Involucral bracts linear, obtuse to acute, glabrous except at apices. Achenes compressed, linear, c.2 mm long. Pappus-hairs flattened at base, up to 9 mm long.
Haastia pulvinaris is easily recognised by its growth habit. This is the famous vegetable sheep of the eastern South Island. Plants producing extremely compact, rounded masses up to 2 x 1 m diameter. From the other two species of Haastia it is easily distinguished by this growth habit, the other two species (H. recurva and H. sinclairii) having a more widely spreading, openly branched, distinctly leafy growth habit. Haastia pulvinaris var. minor is distinguished from var. pulvinaris by its much smaller size (only rarely forming hummocks up to 1 x 1 m), branchlets < 15 mm diameter, and by the distinctly whitish tomentum. Both varieties are occasionally sympatric and may perhaps be better treated as species. Haastia pulvinaris could be confused with species of Raoulia, especially R. bryoides, R. eximia and R. mammillaris with which it sometimes grows. From Raoulia, Haastia is distinguished by the anther-cells which are not tailed, and by the leaves which are > 10 mm long. Recent molecular data suggests that Haastia is very closely allied to Brachyglottis.
November - January
December – February
Pappate cypselae are dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
haastia: After Haast
pulvinaris: From the Latin pulvinar ‘a cushion’ and -aris ‘resembling’, meaning resembling a cushio i.e. convex or or rather flattened
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Description adapted from Allan (1961)
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.