Pimelea stylosa Colenso; Pimelea subsimilis Colenso; Pimelea montana Colenso
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.
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 shrub with tough to break hairy stems bearing pairs of small thick oval leaves and clusters of conspicuous white flowers inhabiting upland areas of the North island. Leaves 5-10mm long, surface often wrinkled. Flowers white or faintly pink, around 1cm wide. Fruit dry, enclosing a black seed.
Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (Coromandel Peninsula; Mt Hikurangi and Raukumara Ranges; Volcanic Plateau; Kaimanawa, Kaweka, Ruahine, and Tararua Ranges)
Montane to alpine. Usually on acidic volcanic rocks such as rhyolite and allied pyroclastic ejecta. Mainly found as a dominant to subdominant component of shrubland-grassland, sparse scrub within tussock grassland, occasionally forming monospecific shrubland
A much-branched, erect shrub up to 1 m tall. Branches and branchlets ascending; branchlets muricate, clad in short, villous, often brownish, hairs. Node buttresses short (0.5 mm), lunate, dark brown or black, and may be prominent after leaf fall. Internodes 2–4 mm long. Bark grey-brown, aging to grey or black. Leaves decussate, usually uniform in size, imbricate, ascending, later patent, on petioles 0.5–1.0 mm long. Lamina dull green, olive green to bronze-green, thick and coriaceous, 5–10 × 3–5 mm, elliptic to ovate, keeled, acute (often blunt-pointed), sometimes obtuse, base cuneate to angustate. Margins thickened, slightly down-turned; midvein prominent below; lateral vein pattern camptodromous but often obscure; stomata only on under sides. Inflorescences few to many-flowered, pedicels 0.3 mm long, persistent. Involucral bracts 4, the same size as leaves or broader (10 × 7 mm). Plants gynodioecious. Flowers hairy on outside; inside sparsely hairy in tube, hairless in ovary portion; fragrant, white or faint pink or rarely deep pink, lower tube red. Calyx lobes open in salverform fashion. Female tube to 5.5 mm long, ovary portion 3 mm, calyx lobes 2.5 × 1.3 mm, staminodes short, at mouth of tube. Female tube to 10 mm long, ovary portion 3 mm, calyx lobes 3.5 × 2 mm. Anther filaments inserted below mouth of tube; anthers golden yellow. Ovary with abundant hair at summit and sparsely hairy to base. Fruits ovoid, green, drying brown, 4.2 mm long. Seeds ovoid 3.8 × 1.7 mm. Dried hypanthia persistant dispersing with fruits inside.
Easily recognised by the erect, stout shrub-forming habit with ascending hairy branches, and usually dark dull green, olive green or bronze-green, thick and leathery, glabrous elliptic to ovate leaves. Most likely to be confused with Hebe odora and H. venustula from which non-flowering plants can be recognised by the absence of a leaf-bud sinus, hairy branchlets, and by the stems which never snap off cleanly, rather they produce long bark, leathery bark peels which can be difficult to break without a knife.
September - May
November - May
Fickle. Can be grown from cuttings, and occasionally seed germinates in garden conditions. Does best in full sun on a well drained soil. However, even well established plants are prone to sudden collapse.
pimelea: Pimeleoides means “resembling Pimelea’’, a genus in the family Thymelaeaceae (Greek, -oides = resembling, like).
Where To Buy
Not Commercially Available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (30 August 2008). Description adapted from Burrows (2008)
References and further reading
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Pimelea buxifolia Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/pimelea-buxifolia/ (Date website was queried)