Scientific Name:
Astelia banksii A.Cunn., Companion Bot. Mag. 2: 374 (1837)
Vernacular Name(s):
Coastal astelia; Horahora; Kōwharawhara; Pūhara; Pūwhara; Pūwharawhara; Shore kowharawhara; Wharawhara

Robust tufted plant. Lvs 100–250 × 3–4.5 cm., ascending in lower half, drooping in upper half, hardly coriaceous; margins revolute in age; just above sheath narrow, keeled and tightly folded; tip long-attenuate; sheath broad, clad on both surfaces in shining white, closely overlapping scales; lamina adaxially slightly bluish green and covered with a clear pellicle of fused scales that lifts off in long strips, abaxially white with appressed or ± cobwebby scales, the several nerves on each side of midrib subequal. Infl. at first erect, ultimately drooping, most parts covered with ± ruffled white scales; peduncle to 40 × 1 cm.; panicle to 50 cm. long; racemes ∞, all except the smallest spathes subtending sub-infls of 3 or more racemes. Fls pedicellate and us. well spaced; per. very pale greenish cream, divided almost to base; tepals to 5.5 × 2 mm., spreading widely and soon reflexed in ♂, in ♀ smaller and more erect. Ovary 3-locular; style short and thick. Fr. c. 8 × 6.5 mm., opaque, bright green, then whitish, most or all of surface becoming flushed with magenta on ripening, the base surrounded by flattened, dry, membr. brownish per. Seeds c. 1.8 × 1.1 mm., dull black, the surface composed of flat faces meeting along ± sharp edges, the funicular end very slightly ornamented. n = 35.

[From: Moore and Edgar (1970) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 2.]

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowering: Mar.–Apr.–Jun.; Fruiting: Jan.–Dec.

Cunningham, A. 1837: Florae insularum Novae Zelandiae precursor; or a specimen of the botany of the islands of New Zealand. Companion to the Botanical Magazine 2: 222–233, 327–336, 358–378.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]