Pimelea sericeovillosa subsp. pulvinaris
Pimelea pulvinaris C.J.Burrows
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.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable | Qualifiers: DP
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2009 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Not Threatened
Rounded low hairy cushions bearing hairy upward pointing leaves small hairy white flowers and yellow or orange fruit inhabiting inland Canterbury and Otago. 1-2 flowers per twig tip.
Endemic. South Island: Mid Canterbury (Mackenzie Basin), south Canterbury and western central Otago. Formerly in the lower Waitaki valley near Kurow.
Lowland to subalpine. In Valley and basin floors occupying dry, windswept places, usually with stony substrates and fine-textured, loess-derived matrix, within short vegetation cover. Often on moraine crests, as well as alluvial fans and river terraces.
Low, compact, much-branched, pale green cushion-forming shrublet to 50 × 250 mm. with brown, tightly packed, appressed, leafy, densely villous young branchlets (older stems usually not visible but retaining dead leaves which cover branchlets inside the cushion). Internode length 0.3-0.6 mm. Branching mainly sympodial and radiating from a stout main stem up to 15 mm in diameter. Node buttresses lunate, dark brown, masked by hairs on young stems, not prominent on leafless branchlets. Leaves decussate, ascending, imbricate, sessile or with very short petioles (0.2 mm). Lamina medium to pale green, elliptic to oblong, 2.2-4.0 × 1.0-1.3 mm, adaxially concave, mid-vein not evident, abaxial surface densely covered with straight, white or greyish-white, moderately long hairs; adaxial surface moderately densely hairy, sometimes glabrate (the youngest leaves have more or less dense adaxial vesture), obtuse, base cuneate, stomata on both adaxial and abaxial surfaces. Inflorescences terminal, with 1 or 2, sometimes 3, flowers. Involucral bracts 4, the same size as, or slightly wider than adjacent leaves (2.3 × 1.5 mm). Receptacle usually with abundant long hairs. Plants gynodioecious. Flowers 1(-2) per inflorescence, white, on very short (0.1 mm) pedicels, very hairy outside, inside hairless. Female tube 2.5 mm long, ovary portion 2 mm, calyx lobes 1.0-1.2 × 0.5 mm; hermaphrodite tube 3-4 mm long, ovary portion 2 mm, calyx lobes 1.5 × 0.8-1.0 mm. Anther dehiscence introrse. Ovary with dense short hairs on summit, less dense to half way down. Fruits ovoid, fleshy, yellow or pale orange 2.5-3.0 × 1.8-2.0 mm, seeds narrow-ovoid 2.0-2.2 × 1.0-1.3 mm.
Distinguished from the other P. sericeovillosa subspecies by its tight, cushion forming habit, pale green colour, restriction to valley and basin floor locations, and by being geographically confined to Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury and western Central Otago.
September - January
December - May
Easily grown from semi-hardwood cuttings but difficult to maintain in cultivation. Prefers a moist free-draining soil, planted in full sun. Dislikes humidity, shade and poor drainage.
See comments about the “Conservation Status” opinions and their validity as offered by Burrows (2011) under the Fact Sheet for Pimelea sericeovillosa subsp. sericeovillosa. As P. pulvinaris this subspecies was listed as “Declining” by de Lange et al. (2009). This assessment is probably still appropriate but due to the recircumscription of P. sericeovillosa to comprise three subspecies this assessment may need to change.
pimelea: Pimeleoides means “resembling Pimelea’’, a genus in the family Thymelaeaceae (Greek, -oides = resembling, like).
pulvinaris: From the Latin pulvinar ‘a cushion’ and -aris ‘resembling’, meaning resembling a cushio i.e. convex or or rather flattened
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by: P.J. de Lange (29 September 2011). Description adapted from Burrows (2011).
References and further reading
Burrows, C.J. 2011: Genus Pimelea (Thymelaeaceae) in New Zealand 5. The taxonomic treatment of five endemic species with both adaxial and abaxial leaf hair. New Zealand Journal of Botany 49: 367-412.
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61-96.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Pimelea sericeovillosa subsp. pulvinaris Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/pimelea-sericeovillosa-subsp-pulvinaris/ (Date website was queried)