Olearia colensoi Hook.f., Olearia colensoi Hook.f. var. colensoi, Olearia colensoi Hook.f. var. argentea Allan.
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
2n = 108
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Bushy leathery shrub in places forming impenetrable thickets in subalpine areas or sea level in far south. Leaves rounded, 8-20cm long by 3-6cm wide, nearly as wide as long, with a soft fuzzy white undersurface. Flowers small, purple, arranged in a spike to 20cm long.
Endemic. North Island (eastern and southern axial ranges), Marlborough Sound (Mt Stokes), otherwise western South Island, Rakiura / Stewart Island and some of the adjacent smaller islands.
colensoi: Named after William Colenso (7 November 1811 - 10 February 1899) who was a Cornish Christian missionary to New Zealand, and also a printer, botanist, explorer and politician.
Olearia colensoi var. argentea recognised by Allan (1961) and accepted following recircumscription by Wardle et al. (1971) is treated as part of the natural variation within Macrolearia colensoi by Saldivia et al. (2022).
References and further reading
Saldivia, P.; Wagstaff, S.J.; Breitwieser, I.; Orlovich, D.A.; Lord, J.M. 2022: A Generic Taxonomic Synopsis of the Pleurophyllum Clade (Asteraceae: Astereae: Celmisiinae) with the Recognition of the New Zealand Endemic New Genus Macrolearia. Systematic Botany 47: 607–634.
Wardle, P.; Field, T.R.O.; Spain, A.V. 1971: Biological Flora of New Zealand 5. Olearia colensoi Hook.f. (Compositae) Leatherwood, Tupari. New Zealand Journal of Botany 9: 186–214.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Macrolearia colensoi Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/macrolearia-colensoi/ (Date website was queried)