Nomenclature
Scientific Name:
Astelia chathamica (Skottsb.) L.B.Moore, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 228 (1966)
Synonymy:
  • Astelia nervosa var. chathamica Skottsb., Kongl. Svenska Vetensk. Acad. Handl. Ser. 3, 14: 62 (1934)
Vernacular Name(s):
Chatham Island kakaha; Kakaha; Silver spear
 Description

Robust tufted plant. Lvs 60–200 × 4–10 cm., keeled near the sheath, less so in main part of lamina; sheath-base white, with close scales on both surfaces; lamina adaxially silvered green with a metallic sheen, covered with a thin but long-persistent clear pellicle that lifts off in strips from old lvs; abaxial surface with a pale grey satiny indumentum of appressed scales with very little wool, the single main costa on each side of midrib little if at all stronger than midrib and not prominent. Infl. large and erect, most parts shaggy with narrow scales at least when young; lower spathes long; racemes ∞, all spathes except the smallest subtending sub-infls of 2–3 or more racemes. Fls pedicellate and us. well spaced; ♂ pale, tepals to 8 × 2.5–3 mm., strongly reflexed soon after fl. opens; per.-tube very short, drooping around pedicel and so exposing the base of the pistillode; outer tepals scaly externally; ♀ colour not known, tepals more scaly, longer and proportionately narrower than in related spp. Ovary 3-locular; style rather well-developed. Fr. c. 10 × 10 mm., subglobose, orange; matured per. fleshy, the tube retroflexed and much shorter than the persistent, membr., ± curled-under tepals.

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

 Biostatus
Indigenous (Endemic)
 Phenology

Flowering: Oct.; Fruiting: Mar.–Jul.

 Bibliography
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [Recovering]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76.
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. [Recovering]
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. [Recovering]
Moore, L.B. 1966: Australasian Asteliads (Liliaceae); with Special Reference to New Zealand Species of Astelia Subgenus Tricella. New Zealand Journal of Botany 4: 201–240.
Skottsberg, C. 1934: Studies in the genus Astelia Banks et Solander. Kongl. Svenska Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar. Stockholm (Ser.3) 14(2): 1–106.