Vascular – Exotic
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.
Upright large leaved herb, up to 80 cm tall, often forming dense stands, stems are square in cross-section, leaves are arranged in pairs, up to 18 cm long and 6 cm across, smaller towards the top of the stem, flowers are small (up to 3.5 mm long) and brown, produced in a large flower head at the top of the stem.
Scattered and local in northern North Island and also at one site in Otago.
Margins of water bodies and also on roadsides and wet pasture in high rainfall areas.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Perennial, lacking nodular roots; stems to c. 80 cm high, narrowly winged just below infl. and above first few cymes. Petioles to 10 cm long on basal lvs, much less on stem lvs. Lamina 6-18 × 2-6 cm, smaller below infl., oblong, ovate-oblong or elliptic-oblong, hairy at first, becoming glabrous above and often glabrate below later, crenate or less commonly crenate-serrate; base subcordate to rounded, sometimes very oblique or with 1-2 small basal leaflets; apex obtuse or rounded. Cymes in panicles in the axils of mostly linear bracts, shortly glandular hairy; rachis angled. Pedicels usually several × > fls, but sometimes shorter. Calyx 2-3.5 mm long; lobes broad-ovate with scarious margin 0.5-1 mm wide and becoming lacerate. Corolla 7-10 mm long, greenish below, reddish brown or purplish brown above, especially the erect, rounded larger lobes of the upper lip. Staminode orbicular or suborbicular, entire. Capsule c. 5 mm long, ovoid or subglobose. Seed ribbed, ± truncate or obtuse.
One other Scrophularia, knotted figwort (S. nodosa) has been collected from Canterbury and Southland, but is not a wetland plant, distinguished by the deeply toothed rather than crenate leaves and lacking the winged stems beneath the inflorescence.
August to April
Spring to autumn
Seed dispersed by water and contaminated machinery.
Western Europe and North Africa
Reason for introduction
Not controlled in New Zealand.
Factsheet orepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA). Features description from Webb et al. (1988).
References and further reading
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand Volume 4: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch.
Johnson PN, Brooke PA (1989). Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319pp.