Peplis portula L.
Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Low growing, many branched herb with narrow leaves, either in pairs or individual up to 4 cm long, and rose coloured flowers (up to 1.5 cm across) produced directly from the stem next to the upper leaves.
Scattered from Northland to Westland, locally common in northern parts.
Damp ground near water bodies and wetlands.
Glabrous annual or short-lived perennial; stems usually lax and straggling, to c. 50 cm tall, ± quadrangular, ± pink. Lvs subsessile, 8-37 × 1-9-(10) mm, linear, or linear-oblong (usually on lower part of main stems), entire but with papillate margin; base rounded, or subamplexicaul (wider main stem lvs only); apex subacute or obtuse. Fls solitary in lf axils, tristylous. Pedicels 1-1.7 mm long; bracteoles < pedicels. Calyx 5.5-7 mm long; tube narrow-obconic, tapering gradually to the narrowed base, with reddish spots about 1/2 way; lobes 0.5-1 mm long, triangular; epicalyx segments almost = lobes. Petals 6, 6-8 mm long, deep pink, crumpled; claw short; limb oblong-obovate. Stamens 12, either all ± exserted or some exserted and some included. Style 2-7 mm long, with stigma at varying levels in different plants. Mature capsule and seed not seen.
Similar to loosestrife, but all parts of that plant are smaller.
December, January, February
Seed dispersed by water, animals or contaminated machinery.
South west Europe and North Africa
Reason for introduction
Unknown, seed or soil contaminant.
Not controlled in New Zealand.
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA). Features description from Webb et al. (1988)
References and further reading
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand Volume 4: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch.
Popay et al (2010). An illustrated guide to common weeds of New Zealand, third edition. NZ Plant Protection Society Inc, 416pp.
Johnson PN, Brooke PA (1989). Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319pp.
Clapham, A.R.; Tutin, T.G.; Warburg, E.F. (1962). Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Second Edition. 1269pp.