Viscum salicornioides A.Cunn.
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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 = 28
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.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: EF
2004 | Sparse
Dense mass of green to reddish-yellow beaded succulent stems to 10cm long growing on twigs of another plant (mainly mānuka and kānuka). Leaves (stems) 3-10mm long by 1-3mm wide, round. Flowers tiny, fruit small, yellowish.
Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands. From Te Paki south. Easily overlooked.
Coastal to upper montane and subalpine (0-1300 m a.s.l.). A parasite found in forest and shrublands. Most commonly found parasitic on Leptospermum scoparium J.R.Forst. et G.Forst. (kahikatoa/mānuka) and members of the Kunzea ericoides (A.Rich.) Joy Thomps. (rawiri/titiri/kānuka) complex.
Hemiparasitic, succulent, much branched, green, yellow-green, red-green to orange-green plant parasitising exposed branches and branchlets of host. Haustoria internal, dark green, encircling stele of host. Plants 30-100 x 10-450 mm, erupting from host bark, individual aerial structures lasting from 1-4 years before dehiscing and resprouting. Branches arising at narrow angles; Internodes terete, succulent to subsucculent, 3-10 x 1-3 mm, narrowed to a finely constricted node. Collar truncate, up to 0.5 mm long, sheathing at nodes. Flowers scarcely differentiated from barren stems, 3-10 x 1 mm. Fruit 1.5 mm long, ovoid to globular, dispersed by birds or ejected under hydraulic pressure
None - the two other species of Korthasella Tiegh. endemic to New Zealand have flattened internodes are fewer branches arising at wider angles.
October - March
October - May
Fleshy berries are dispersed by ballistic projection, attachment and possibly frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
An apparently naturally uncommon and biologically sparse species which can on occasion be locally abundant, but is more usually known from large parts of its likely range by only spot or scattered occurrences. In some parts of its range it is under threat due to the felling of its main host species (Leptospermum and Kunzea) for firewood and also to clear land for farming or pine plantations.
korthalsella: After Korthals, botanist
salicornioides: Like Salicornia (glasswort)
Where To Buy
Not commericially available
The most host specific of the three New Zealand species of the genus, the favoured host is Leptospermum scoparium followed by Kunzea ericoides s.l. However Sophora chathamica Cockayne, Myrsine australis (A.Rich.) Allan, Dracophyllum acerosum Bergg., Melicope simplex A.Cunn. and Gaultheria antipoda G.Forst. are sometimes also parasitised.
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
References and further reading
Nickrent, D.L.; Malécot, V.; Vidal-Russell, R.; Der, J.P. 2010: A revised classification of Santalales. Taxon 59: 538-558.
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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Korthalsella salicornioides Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/korthalsella-salicornioides/ (Date website was queried)