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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Inland Kaikoura and Amuri Ranges from Mt. Tapuaenuku to Mt. Terako and Mt. Percival, and drainage areas of upper Wairau, Waiau, Clarence, and Awatere rivers)
Mostly subalpine to alpine (rarely within montane areas on shingle beds and slips along riversides). Endemic to deep fine greywacke screes and semi-consolidated debris slopes.
A perennial deep-rooting rhizomatous scree plant with distant rosettes of very thick, glaucous, (sometimes yellowish) sessile leaves, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves 8 × 5-25 × 15 mm, spathulate, obtuse, narrowed to a thick flat petiole; margins entire, thickened, cartilaginous. Scapes 20-30 mm long, stout, glaucous, with 1-3 small bracts, usually simple and stiff. Flower Insect-pollinated, c.12 mm long, 8-12 mm diameter, lilac or white, scented. Corolla broadly funnel-shaped, 5-partite, tube c.5 × 6 mm, lobes c. 7 × 5 mm, enclosed within the large calyx lobes which are thick and coriaceous, glabrous, linear-oblong, obtuse, 6 × 2 to 10 × 3 mm. Capsule glabrous, often glaucous, globose to broadly turbinate, c.8 × 8 to 10 × 10 mm. Seeds larger than in other species, 1 mm long, ellipsoid, glossy brown when mature.
Easily separated from other Wahlenbergia Roth by its restriction to mobile scree habitats,by its thick greyish or yellowish leaves borne in widely spaced, separate rosettes, short thick flower stems, calyx lobes about as long as corolla, and by its fragrant insect-pollinated flowers.
December - January
January - March
Can be grown in a rockery or an alpine house but generally regarded as difficult. Best from fresh seed.
A naturally uncommon, narrow range endemic that is sparsely distributed over a wide area of scree in eastern Marlborough. Although not considered threatened, some populations suffer from browsing caused by sheep, goats, rabbits hares and other livestock.
wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
cartilaginea: Like cartilage
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 cartilaginea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/wahlenbergia-cartilaginea/ (Date website was queried)