Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites
2n = 80
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 | Non-resident Native – Vagrant | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Non-resident Native – Vagrant | Qualifiers: SO
2004 | Non-resident Native – Vagrant
Herbaceous, short-lived or annual daisy. Leaves fleshy, dark green, variable (obovate, oblanceolate, lanceolate) deeply lobed or coarsely toothed. Flower heads (capitula) vase-shaped, involucral bracts 9-15, 5-6 mm long, ligules yellow, 1-5 × 1 mm, disc yellow, 4-5 mm diameter. Seeds 2.5-2.8 × 0.3-0.5 mm.
Indigenous. Present on Motukino (Fanal Island), Mokohinau Islands and North Eastern Great Barrier Island. Otherwise only known from the Norfolk Island group
In New Zealand. Offshore islands on rock ledges, in short grasses and coastal herbs growing amongst petrel and diving petrel burrows
Erect to semi-erect, heavily branched and leafy, short-lived perennial herb, (0.2-)0.8-1 m tall. Stems dark purple. Foliage dark green, glabrescent and fleshy. Lower leaves 55-75 × 25-30 mm, dark green, shortly-petiolate, obovate to oblanceolate, entire, very rarely lobed 1-2 times, apex obtuse; mid-cauline leaves 50-140 × 20-45 mm, dark green, petiolate or amplexicaul, petioles up to 10-15 mm; lamina ovate, obovate to elliptic, rarely rhomboidal, entire, coarsely dentate, or lobed 2-3 times, leaf apices obtuse; uppermost leaves smaller, lanceolate to linear or linear-spathulate, lobulate or dentate, with obtuse apices. Inflorescence a lax cyme of 3-8 capitula. Capitula urceolate. Involucral bracts (9-)13(-15), dark green, lanceolate, 5-6 mm long. Ray florets (0-)9(-12); ligules yellow, 1-5 × 1 mm; blunt-ended. Disc 4-5 mm diameter, yellow. Cypsela elliptic to oblong-elliptic 2.5-2.8 × 0.3-0.5 mm.
Senecio marotiri is superficially similar. From that species S. australis can be distinguished by its basal leaves which are lyrately-lobed, cob-webby arachnoid stem, leaf and involucral hairs, urceolate (vase-shaped) capitula, shorter and fewer involucral bracts, and shorter cypsela (seeds). It has a very different nrDNA ITS sequence placing it within the lautusoid Senecio group, whilst S. marotiri is the sister species of S. quadridentatus.
November - April
November - April
Easy from fresh seed. A short-lived perennial which readily self sows in suitable habitats. Does best in a sunny, exposed location, within free draining fertile soil.
In New Zealand it is known from only three small populations comprising a total of 10 or so plants. It is clearly a recent arrival at these locations and during these initial stages of colonisation it remains vulnerable to a range of natural stochastic events. This species is abundant and not threatened on Norfolk Island.
senecio: From the Latin senex ‘old man’ (probably referring to the bearded seeds)
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (3 May 2004). Description by P.J. de Lange based on New Zealand material originally from Motukino ( Fanal Island), Mokohinau Islands group.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Senecio australis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/senecio-australis/ (Date website was queried)