None (described in 2008)
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
2n = 14
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 – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (South Auckland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, and
Lowland to subalpine. A species of the margins of lake, tarn and ephemeral wetlands, stream banks, and seepages in tussock grassland, where it grows with other short turf and small herb species.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Creeping, prostrate, moderately hairy to occasionally glabrous herb; rooting at leaf nodes. Leaves alternate, upright to spreading; lamina 2.5–7.2 × 1.5–6.0 mm, orbicular, suborbicular, to broadly elliptic, often oblanceolate to oblong in shade, green, blotched purple-brown, moderately hairy, hairs < 0.2 mm long and patent, rarely glabrous, midvein faint, lateral veins faint to obscure, margin with 5–7 prominent denticles or shallow teeth, apex obtuse to subacute; petiole 0.5–1.5 × 0.2–0.4 mm. Flowers hermaphrodite, resupinate, axillary, solitary; peduncle 0.5–27.0 × 0.3–0.6 mm. Calyx with short tube adnate to ovary; lobes 5, 1.2–1.5 × 0.4–0.8 mm, green, narrow triangular to lanceolate, underside glabrous to moderately hairy, upper surface glabrous or occasionally sparsely hairy near apex; apex subacute and with conspicuous, translucent, tip. Corolla up to 9.5 mm long in late bud, 6.0–8.0 mm diameter when open, white, with two green or yellow-green markings between the sinus of the front three corolla lobes, without conspicuous purple-violet blotches at the base of the three front corolla lobes; tube 2.5–4.5 mm long, 1.0–2.0 mm wide, fused, under surface glabrous to sparsely hairy, upper surface sometimes sparsely hairy; lobes 5, 2.4–5.0 × 0.8–1.5 mm, narrow-lanceolate, recurved, apex subacute. Filaments 3.0–3.6 × 0.2–0.3 mm, fused below anthers, adnate from base to upper half of the corolla tube, white occasionally flushed pale blue in distal part, becoming translucent and flushed green toward proximal part. Anthers united into a tube around style, 0.9–1.5 mm long, purple-brown, curved over at top. Nectary annular, 0.2–0.4 mm high, green to yellow-green; apex sparsely hairy. Ovary 1.5–2.5 × 1.1–1.4 mm, green, usually moderately hairy, occasionally glabrous, apex obtuse. Style 4.3–5.5 × 0.2–0.4 mm, white to pale green, exserted beyond anthers. Stigma bilobed, lobes 0.3–0.7 × 0.4–1.0 mm, pink. Capsule 2.4–3.5 × 2.0–2.8 mm, green, often flushed purple-brown; thin-walled, seeds visible through wall, indehiscent and without apical valves, disintegrating with age; apex crowned with persistent style base; base obtuse to slightly cuneate. Seed broadly elliptic to obovate-oblong, olive green, semi-glossy, 0.4–0.5 mm long.
Differs from Lobelia ionantha Heenan and L. fatiscens Heenan by its usually hairy stems, leaves, and flower parts, from L. ionantha by smaller flowers that lack purple blotches at the base of the lower three corolla lobes, and from L. fatiscens by its usually orbicular leaves, larger flowers, and fewer chromosomes
Throughout the year
Throughout the year
Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. An attractive ground cover for a damp sunny or semi-shaded site. An excellent pot plant.
Known from about 10 sites – a few populations are within National Parks and are probably secure, otherwise the rest of the wetland habitats it occupies have been or continue to be modified by naturalised species.
lobelia: Named after Lobel, pioneer botanist
Description modified from Heenan et al. (2008).
References and further reading
Heenan et al. 2008: Generic placement in Lobelia and revised taxonomy for New Zealand species previously in Hypsela and Isotoma (Lobeliaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 87–100.