Wahlenbergia gracilis sensu Allan nom. inv., Wahlenbergia marginata sensu Tuyn nom. inv., Wahlenbergia marginata var. australis Hatch nom .nud.
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 = 72
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
Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands. Also Norfolk Island.
Rarely coastal, mostly inland and lowland in scrub or bracken-clothed hills, or thin pasture, usually on clay; rural roadsides, burnt or eroded or disturbed places, often invasive in gardens.
Radicate perennial herb. Stems 100-500 mm tall, slender, erect or decumbent. Leaves oblanceolate to lanceolate to linear, shallowly denticulate to subentire, dark green, the lowermost 2-5 pairs opposite in seedlings and young shoots. Pedicels slender, 30-150 mm long. Flowers self-fertile, glabrous, 5-l8 mm diameter, 2-10 mm long, bright blue-violet, paler outside. Corolla shortly campanulate, bowl-shaped, often with tube distinctly angled at the sinus; tube 1.5 × 3.0 mm to 3 × 4 mm, ¼ to 1/3 length of corolla; corolla lobes ovate, acute, overlapping or touching in open flower, 3 × 2 mm to 7 × 4 mm. Style capitate, thickened, and blue at apex. Stigmas large, often white and fluffy. Calyx lobes glabrous 1.5 × 0.7 mm to 4 × 1 mm narrowly triangular, equal in length to corolla lobe Capsule glabrous obconic, with protruding apical valves. Bud at anther dehiscence tinted blue. Seeds 0.5 mm long.
Distinguished from the other New Zealand radicate Wahlenbergia Roth. by the blue-violet flower colour, shortly campanulate corolla with bowl-shaped tube, and ovate acute corolla lobes, touching or overlapping in the open flower, giving the flower a compact appearance. Usually there are 2-6 pairs of opposite leaves in young shoots and seedlings.
November - April
December - April
Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Does best in a sunny situation in well drained soil. In suitable conditions it freely naturalises and can even become weedy.
wahlenbergia: Named in honour of Wahlenberg, a Swedish botanist and author of A Botany of Lapland.
violacea: Violet coloured
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 Botany 35: 9-54.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Wahlenbergia violacea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/wahlenbergia-violacea/ (Date website was queried)