Scientific Name:
Astelia fragrans Colenso, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 15: 333 (1882 [1883])
  • = Astelia nervosa var. sylvestris Cockayne & Allan, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 56: 21 (1926)
Vernacular Name(s):
Bush flax; Bush lily; Kakaha

Robust tufted plants occurring singly or in colonies. Stem 2–4–(6) cm. diam. Lvs 50–200–(250) × 2.5–7.5 cm., stiffly ascending in lower half, less rigid in tapering upper part, strongly keeled above sheath but not tightly folded; tip narrowly attenuate; sheath to 2 × lamina-width, white with close scales; lamina adaxially green, glab. (the scales falling early), one very strong costa on each side of midrib sts reddish; abaxial surface with fine, inconspicuous, ± caducous scales and costae very prominent and much broader than midrib. Infl. erect, broad, for the most part glab.; peduncle stout, about = panicle; lower spathes long and narrowly attenuate; racemes 15–30–(50), all except the smallest spathes subtending sub-infls of 2–3 or more racemes, with second order branching occ. in the lowermost. Fls pedicellate and us. well spaced; ♂ greenish fawn, tepals c. 5 × 2 mm., spreading then drooping about pedicel; ♀ dark green, almost glab., tepals c. 3 × 2.5 mm., the tube closely appressed to about middle of shining green ovary, the dull reddish tips recurved. Ovary 3-locular; style thick, ill-defined. Fr. 4–9 × 4–9 mm., subglobose, orange ± flecked with red; matured per. fleshy, orange, ± split between shrivelled remnants of tepals, us. spreading widely from base of berry. 2n = 70.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowering: Oct.–Nov.; Fruiting: Dec.–May.

Cockayne, L.; Allan, H.H. 1926: Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, & c. (No. 4). Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 56: 21–33.
Colenso, W. 1883: Descriptions of a few new indigenous plants. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 15: 320–339.
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]