Wahlenbergia albomarginata subsp. laxa
New Zealand harebell, harebell
Wahlenbergia laxa G.Simpson, Wahlenbergia pygmaea var. laxa (G.Simpson) Allan
Vascular – Native
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.
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
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: South (in wetter areas west of the Main Divide from the North-west Nelson and the Richond Range to Fiordland) and Stewart Island.
Montane to alpine (coastal on Stewart Island). Mountain valleys, lake shores, and herbfield
Perennial herb with radical, rosulate tufts of leaves, sometimes alternate on elongated stems (shade form). Leaves dark green, yellow-green to red green (not drying glaucous), more or less petiolate, dentate to serrate, lamina 10 × 2 to 40 × 10 mm, obovate to oblanceolate, marginal teeth conspicuous, gradually narrowed to petiole as long as the lamina or longer. Flowers insect-pollinated, narrowly campanulate-rotate, corolla pale flax blue to pale blue-violet, often with white zoning and deeper coloured veins, or all white, 10-25 mm diameter, 10-20 mm long, corolla tube 4 × 3 to 10 × 6 mm, lobes 6 × 3 to 12 × 5 mm; style equal in length to corolla tube, lobes 2 or 3. Calyx lobes less than ¼ corolla length; capsule domed cylindric, 6-8 × 4 mm. Seeds 0.5 mm long, ellipsoid, smooth, glossy brown when mature.
Allied to subsp. albomarginata from which it is distinguished by the obovate to oblanceolate, dentate to serrate, conspicuously toothed leaves, which do not dry glaucous. Flowering material is similar to subsp. albomarginata except that the flowers are said to be larger and have longer tubes and calyx lobes. The distinctions between subsp. albomarginata and subsp. laxa appear trivial and formal recognition of subsp. laxa seems questionable, requiring further critical study.
November – April
December - April
Easily grown from tip cuttings and the division of whole plants. Fresh seed germinates readily. Being insect-pollinated and having an indigenous pollinator, cultivated plants rarely set seed.
wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
albomarginata: From the Latin albus ‘white’ and marginatus ‘having a border or margin’ meaning something with a white margin, often referring to leaves
laxa: Slack, loose
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange 12 June 2007. Description adapted from Petterson (1997).
References and further reading
Petterson, J.A. 1997: Revision of the genus Wahlenbergia (Campanulaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botanv 35: 9-54.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Wahlenbergia albomarginata subsp. laxa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/wahlenbergia-albomarginata-subsp-laxa/ (Date website was queried)