native iris, mikoikoi
Libertia pulchella sensu Moore (1967)
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Monocots
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 = 38
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (from about Mangonui south to Wellington but scarce in Northland), South Island (from Nelson and Marlborough to Fiordland, uncommon in the east)
A widespread and locally common species of high rainfall forests and river banks. Mostly montane and in cloud forest in Northland otherwise widespread, though favouring montane habitats, or cooler places in lowland forest. Often found on fallen logs and root mounds, usually associated with mosses and liverworts
Plants consisting of leafy fans erect or semi-erect; sparsely branched leafy rhizomes, 30–180 mm long, attached to substratum, sometimes insecurely, by thin, wiry roots. Leaves 30–220 × 1–5 mm, the downward-facing surface much duller than the upper, due to more white lines of stomata and raised cells being present; veins inconspicuous, leaf bases green or pale yellow, leaf margins often finely scabrid, stomata often only present on lower surface of leaf; leaf in transverse section simple, only one row of vascular bundles present, marginal vascular bundle absent, no sclerenchyma on inside of leaf sheath. Inflorescences long, usually greater than leaves; peduncle slender. Panicle simple; bracts 5–35 mm long, narrow lanceolate, green or brown when dried, in clusters of three or more; 1–8 flowers on very slender, usually pubescent pedicels, 13–35 mm long. Flowers white, 5–15 mm diameter, predominantly tepallate, outer whorl slightly shorter and narrower, elliptical with apiculus, inner whorl larger, elliptical with apical cleft. Staminal filaments very shortly connate; anthers c.1.5 mm long. Ovary triquetrous, c.¼ length of the perianth bud at anthesis; style branches not winged, pointing upwards. Capsule triquetrous, 2–3 × 2–5 mm; dehiscing by loculicidal splitting; valves keeled and strongly recurved at dehiscence, green-brown. Seeds 0.75–1.0 × 1.0–1.2 mm, rounded to egg-shaped, almost smooth, yellow.
Libertia micrantha differs from all the other New Zealand species of Libertia by its smaller size, the presence of white lines on the abaxial side of the leaf, anatomically simple leaves, leafy rhizomes, bunches of bracts at inflorescence branches, pubescent pedicels, tepallate flowers, white pollen sacs, broad pollen sac connectives, and by its diploid chromosome number
September – December
December – June
Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. This species does best in semi-shade. Libertia micrantha is an attractive plant that deserves to be more widely cultivated that it is.
libertia: Named after Marie-Anne Libert, (1782-1865) born & died in Malmedy, province of Liège, Belgium; botanist and mycologist
micrantha: Tiny flower
Description modified from Blanchon et al. (2002)
References and further reading
Blanchon, D.J.; Murray, B.G.; Braggins, J.E. 2002: A taxonomic revision of Libertia (Iridaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 40: 437–456.
Young, M. 1990. A lowland site for Libertia pulchella. Auckland Botanical Society Journal, 45:4.