None (first described in 2009)
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
2n = 36
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
Very low-growing sprawling shrub with creeping greyish-haired twigs bearing overlapping pairs of thick fleshy oval leaves, clusters of small white flowers, and white fruit inhabiting coastal areas probably throughout. Leaves slightly ridged underneath, 3.5-4.9mm long by 1.5-3.5mm wide.
Endemic. Three Kings (Manawha Tawhi), North and South Islands to about Otago. All recent South Island records come from Nelson, North-west Nelson to about Buller and in the east along the Marlborough coast to Ward and at Kaitorete Spit.
Coastal: Mostly on cliffs and banks, sometimes on dunes; commonly in short turf on wind- and spray-swept cliff tops together with a range of halophytic plants.
A small to medium-sized shrub, prostrate or pendent on banks and cliffs; stems slender to stout, flexible, up to 70 cm long. Branching sympodial and lateral, with some short shoots. Branchlets light brown, moderately densely covered by short, stiff, greyish-white hair. Internodes 1–2 mm long. Older stems slightly hairy to glabrate, light-brown to dark grey. Node buttresses short (0.2 mm), dark brown, lunate, masked by hair on young stems, not prominent on leafless stems. Leaves decussate, crowded on young branchlets, imbricate, ascendant, may become patent later, on short (0.5 mm) red petioles. Lamina broad-ovate or broad-elliptic, 3.5–4.9 × 1.5–3.5 mm, glabrous, glaucous, thick, often fleshy, adaxially concave to slightly keeled, midvein evident abaxially, obtuse, base cuneate, sometimes truncate. Stomata abundant on adaxial side, none or rare on abaxial side. Inflorescences 4–6-flowered, terminal on branchlets. Involucral bracts 4, similar in size to adjacent leaves or larger (5.5 × 3.8 mm). Receptacles moderately hairy. Pedicels 0.2 mm. Plants gynodioecious. Flowers white, fragrant, moderately densely hairy on outside of tube and calyx lobes; inside hairless. Calyx lobes open in salverform fashion. Female tube 3 mm, ovary portion 2.2 mm, calyx lobes 1.8 × 1.4 mm; hermaphrodite tube 4.2 mm long, ovary portion 2.5 mm, calyx lobes 2.0 × 1.8 mm. Anther dehiscence semi-latrose. Ovary sparsely hairy at summit and to one-quarter of the way down. Fruits broad ovoid, fleshy, white, opaque, 5.0 × 3.8 mm. Seeds broad ovoid 2.8 × 2 mm.
P. carnosa is easily recognised by the extremely fleshy, broad-elliptic to broad-ovate, keeled, imbricate (overlapping), ascendant leaves, lunate node buttresses, and very hairy young stems. It is perhaps closest to, and has often been confused with P. urvilliana which differs by the bright white, long, dense indumentum of the stem internodes (rather than the grey-white, short, moderately dense hairs of the stem internodes of P. carnosa) and by having notably less fleshy, more widely spaced, elliptic or ovate leaves.
September – April
November – June
Easily grown from semi-hardwood cuttings and rooted pieces. Seed is difficult to germinate. Best grown in a well drained soil in full sun. An excellent plant for the rockery.
pimelea: Pimeleoides means “resembling Pimelea’’, a genus in the family Thymelaeaceae (Greek, -oides = resembling, like).
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Factsheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (30 August 2009). Description adapted from Burrows (2009).
References and further reading
Burrows, C.J. 2009: Genus Pimelea (Thymelaeaceae) in New Zealand 2. The endemic Pimelea prostrata and Pimelea urvilliana species complexes. New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 163–229.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Pimelea carnosa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/pimelea-carnosa/ (Date website was queried)