Native Hibiscus, puarangi
Has been erroneously referred to Hibiscus trionum L.
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites
2n = 28
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 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: CD, EF, Sp, TO
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: EF, Sp, TO
2004 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered
Indigenous. New Zealand, North Island, from Te Paki eastward to Hicks Bay, including Great Barrier and Mayor (Tuhua) Islands. Also Australia (New South Wales)
Strictly coastal, growing in recently disturbed habitats, such as around slip scars, within petrel colonies, on talus slopes, and under open coastal scrub and forest. At Mayor (Tuhua) Island it is associated with an old pa site. The seed is long-lived, and has a persistent seed bank, such that this species often appears following major habitat disturbances caused by storm damage or fire
Annual to short-lived perennial herb up to 1 m tall. Stems densely clothed in stellate hairs when young becoming glabrescent with age. Lower leaves puberulent, suborbicular, entire to finely serrated, stem leaves pale green at first becoming purple-red with age, palmately 3-5-lobed, 10-60 mm long, puberulent, segments finely serrated (rather deeply serrated). Flowers solitary and axillary, rarely pseudoterminal; epicalyx segments (8-)10-13, free to near base, linear-lanceolate, calyx deeply campanulate; calyx teeth ovate-triangular, somewhat < tube in length. Petals (5)-10(-15) mm long, uniformly white, cream to very pale yellow, basally sometimes with pale reddish-pink striations. Capsule long persistent, with papery calyx. Seeds 1.5-2 mm, finely papillate
A naturalised race of Hibiscus trionum is often confused with H. richardsonii (see de Lange et al. 2010; Craven et al. 2011). It has larger, more deeply divided and lobed leaves, much larger pale-yellow to yellow flowers which open fully, petals which are consistently and distinctly basally blotched dark brown, purple-red or maroon, and larger seeds.
(September-) October - May
(September-) June (potentially all year round)
Seeds are dispersed by wind and possibly granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from seed. A short-lived perennial which behaves as an annual in colder climates. Frost-sensitive. Does best in an open, sunny situation. can be somewhat weedy, and has a very persistent seed-bank
Hibiscus richardsonii is very palatable to stock, and it is prone to being outcompeted by faster growing and taller weeds. As a species requiring open ground it is especially vulnerable to this threat. Previously regarded (as Hibiscus aff. trionum (AK 218967; New Zealand)) as Nationally Critical in de Lange et al. (2009)
hibiscus: Name of very ancient origin used by the Roman poet Virgil for the marsh mallow plant.
Description based on de Lange et al. (2010). Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (September 2009)
References and further reading
Craven, L.A.; de Lange, P.J.; Lally, T.R.; Murray, B.G.; Johnson. S.B. 2011. The indigenous Australasian bladder ketmia species (Hibiscus trionum complex, Malvaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 49: 27–40.
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96.
de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Christchurch, Canterbury University Press. 471pp.
Johnson, A. T. and Smith, H. A (1986). Plant Names Simplified: Their pronunciation, derivation and meaning. Landsman Bookshop Ltd: Buckenhill, UK.
Murray, B.G.; Craven, L.A,; de Lange, P.J. 2008: New observations on chromosome number variation in Hibiscus trionum s.l. (Malvaceae) and their implications for systematics and conservation. New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 315-319.
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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Hibiscus richardsonii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/hibiscus-richardsonii/ (Date website was queried)