Cyathodes pumila Hook.f.; Styphelia minuta Sleumer; Cyathodes dealbata R.Br.
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 = 24
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
Very low-growing woody cushion to 0.5m wide bearing erect tight-packed small narrow pointy leaves that are dark green with a white underside and producing red fruit inhabiting open upland areas. Leaves 3-5mm long by 1-2mm wide, green strip up middle underneath. Flower white, tubular.
Indigenous. Australia (Tasmania) and New Zealand (North, South and Stewart Islands).
From sea level to alpine zones on poorly drained ground or peat bogs amongst other cushion-plants, shrubs and grasses. In northern part of its range this species is strictly alpine.
Prostrate, woody shrub forming dense cushion-like patches up to 400mm diameter and 30 mm tall; branches numerous, ascending at tips; branchlets numerous, ascending. Leaves subsessile, close-set, imbricate, erect, coriaceous, glabrous; lamina 3-5 × 1-2 mm, narrow-oblong to narrow-elliptic, minutely apiculate (sometimes not); adaxially glaucous to dark brown-green, abaxially white below except for midribs and margins (these same colour as adaxial leaf surface); margins more or less thickened towards base. Flowers minute, white, hairy, solitary, axillary and/or terminal. Bracts numerous, investing peduncle. Calyx-lobes broad-oblong, obtuse, ciliolate. Corolla-tube cylindric, much > calyx; lobes acute, densely hairy on upper surface. Style minutely 5-lobed. Fruit 4-6 mm diameter, globose, dark red; locules usually 5.
Most likely to be confused with Pentachondra pumila which grows in similar places and has a superficially similar growth habit. Pentachondra pumila differs from Montitega by its adaxially dark purplish-green leaves (abaxially finely striate) which lack mucronate apices, and larger (6-8 mm diameter) bright red to orange pyriform fruits.
January - March
January - April
Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
The New Zealand plant was long known as Cyathodes pumila Hook.f., though some considered our plant conspecific with the Tasmanian C. dealbata R.Br. Albrecht et al. (2010) show that New Zealand and Tasmanian plants are conspecific, and further, that they are misplaced in Cyathodes. As such the authors established a new, monotypic genus Montitega (M. dealbata (R.Br.) C.M.Weiller) for Cyathodes dealbata.
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (30 December 2010). Description adapted from Allan (1961) and Albrecht et al (2010).
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1861: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer.
Albrecht, D.E.; Owens, C.T.; Weiller, C.M.; Quinn, C.J. 2010: Generic concepts in Ericaceae: Styphelioideae - the Monotoca group. Australian Systematic Botany 23: 320-332.
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): Montitega dealbata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/montitega-dealbata/ (Date website was queried)