hairy forest nertera
None (first described in 1995)
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
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 = 44
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 (scarce north of 37°S (Waipoua, Little and Great Barrier Islands), otherwise common), South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Lowland to montane. Usually in forest. Occasionally along river banks in frost flats. Uncommon in the drier parts of the eastern North and South Islands.
Prostrate hairy herb, openly branched, rooting at nodes. Stems 0.6-1.0 mm diameter with internodes 20-40 mm long, densely hairy when young. Hairs subappressed at first, becoming patent to erect, straight, becoming bent, 3-5-celled, the distal cell tapered to a fine point. Leaves opposite, stipulate, petiolate. Stipule interpetiolar, adnate to base of petiole, broadly triangular, 1.0 × 1.5 mm, undersides hairy when young, becoming membranous. Petiole 4-10mm long, hairy. Lamina broadly ovate-deltoid, 7-15 × 5-13 mm, apex subacute, base truncate, entire, with scattered erect hairs on both surfaces, margins glabrous, rich green above, pale green or purplish below, veins obscure above, clear below, raphides obscure. Flowers bisexual, protogynous, solitary and terminal on short branchlets, sessile, closely subtended by 2 pairs of leaves. Calyx a shallow rim, irregularly lobed, lobes c.0.2 mm long. Corolla funnelform, c. 3 mm long, 4-lobed, lobes ovate, spreading, undersides translucent green with purple flecks, 1 mm long, acute, upper surface hairy, margins papillose. Stamens 4, filaments glabrous, attached to receptacle and adnate to base of corolla tube, anthers yellow, dorsifixed, exserted from corolla. Style bifid, pale green, branches diverging, exserted from corolla. Ovary inferior, 2- celled, with 1 ovule in each cell. Fruit a globose, orange to red, shining, drupe, c. 6 mm diameter, often hairy, pyrenes 2, plano-convex, c.3.5 × 2.5 mm.
Nertera villosa differs from the other six New Zealand species of Nertera by its more robust habit, and in being densely covered in erect to sub-appressed straight hairs comprised of 3-5 cells. Nertera dichondrifolia (A.Cunn.) Hook.f. is a more slender plant of northern North Island forests (mostly north of 38°S) with the leaves apiculate and the hairs more sparse, curved, and comprised of 7-13 cells
September – January
October – June
Easily grown from rooted pieces. An excellent ground cover for a shaded pathway or under taller shrubs and trees.
nertera: Lowly, low growing
villosa: From Latin (villus) meaning shaggy or hairy.
Description adapted from MacMillan (1995).
References and further reading
MacMillan, B.H. 1995: Nertera villosa B.H.Macmill. et R.Mason (Rubiaceae), a new species from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 435-438.