Selliera, remuremu, half-star, bonking grass
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs 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 = 16
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: Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Coastal to alpine. In permanently to seasonally damp, open sites and depressions such as in sand swales, on cliff tops and on talus slopes below these, in coastal turf, in the marginal turf of lake and ponds, in salt pans. Mostly coastal but also recorded from well inland in the South Island and parts of the Central North Island (such as along the shores of Lake Taupo)
Perennial, ± succulent creeping herb forming matted patches up to 1 m or more in diameter. Stems and branches, 1-4 mm diameter, white or yellowish, procumbent (rarely with tips ascendant) held near at or just below substrate surface, widely spreading, rooting at nodes yellowish. Leaves, 1-4 borne in a fascicles along stem, alternate, appressed to ground or ascending, coriaceous, (± succulent (fleshy)), dark green to yellow-green, glabrous, glossy; petioles 4-40 mm long, slender flattened; lamina 3-50 × 1-10 mm, very variable ranging from orbicular, rhomboid through narrowly spathulate, obovate-spathulate, linear-spathulate to linear, base attenuate to truncate, apex obtuse, subacute to acute. Inflorescences single, arising in leaf axils, borne on stout fleshy, bracteate peduncles 4-45 mm, bracts 1.0-2.6 x 0.7-1.3 mm, broadly to narrowly lanceolate, falcate, green, erect; pedicels 1-24 mm long; bracts 0.8-1.0 × 0.6-0.9 mm, subulate-attenuate. Flowers 1-2. Calyx persistent, calyx lobes 1.2-1.6 x 0.7-1.2 mm, linear to narrow-triangular, green, distally flushed red, apex subacute to acute; corolla 4-11 x 8-16 mm; petals 5 fused in proximal part, inner surface white to pale blue, outer white, pinkish-white to pale red; petal segments 3-8 x 1.5-2.4 mm, lanceolate to narrow-oblong, falcate, acute to acuminate. Ovary 1.4-1.9 mm, green, glabrous. Style purple-red, stigma glabrous, orange brown. Stamens 3, orange-brown. Fruit 3.0-6.1 x 2.1-10.0 mm, obovoid to ovoid, truncate, green. Seeds 1.0-1.8 mm long, broadly ovate, broadly elliptic to almost circular, biconvex, pale orange yellow to pale brown, winged, wing 0.1-0.3 mm wide, margin irregular, wrinkled, translucent.
Selliera radicans is extremely variable and it warrants further taxonomic investigation. However most forms are distinguished from the from the allied S. rotundifolia with which it grows by the usually rhomboid through narrowly spathulate, obovate-spathulate, linear-spathulate to linear leaves. However forms with orbicular leaves that grow on cliffs along the Whanganui - North Taranaki Coastline are difficult to separate from S. rotundifolia. However, both species can be separated by their seeds (Webb & Simpson 2001), those of S. rotundifolia are 1.0-1.5 mm long (1.0-1.8 mm long in S. radicans). Distinction from S. microphlla is less clear, although Webb & Simpson (2001) note that seeds of S. microphylla have a narrower wing (< 0.1 mm wide). Cytologically there is some support for S. microphylla (see de Lange & Rolfe 2010) but this needs further investigation.
August - April
October - June
Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Does best in a permanently damp site in full sun. Not particularly fussy about soil fertility. Selliera makes an excellent “no-mow” lawn. As a species Selliera is extremely variable and some critical selection of this diversity by horticulturists is needed to find the best forms suited to cultivation.
selliera: After Sellier
radicans: Creeping and rooting
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 28 June 2012. Description from herbarium material and fresh plants except for the seed description which is modified from Webb & Simpson (2001). Common name ‘half-star’ added by C C Ogle 24 Oct 2019
References and further reading
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R. 2010: New Zealand Indigenous Vascular Plant Checklist. Wellington, New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. 164pp.
Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2001: Seeds of New Zealand gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Christchurch, The Caxton Press. 428 p.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Selliera radicans Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/selliera-radicans/ (Date website was queried)