Scientific Name:
Astelia solandri A.Cunn., Companion Bot. Mag. 2: 374 (1837)
  • = Astelia cunninghamii Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 259 (1853)
  • = Astelia cunninghamii subsp. hookeriana Kirk, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 4: 244 (1872)
  • Astelia solandri subsp. hookerana (Kirk) L.B.Moore, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 230 (1966)
  • = Astelia polyneuron Colenso, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 14: 333 (1881 [1882])
  • = Astelia subrigida Colenso, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 19: 268 (1886 [1887]) pro parte
Vernacular Name(s):
Kahakaha; Kōhaha; Kōwharawhara

Robust tufted epiphyte, but also growing on ground. Lvs mostly 100–200 × 2–3.5 cm., drooping; just above sheath very narrow, keeled and tightly folded, covered in fine whitish felt; sheath broad, clad on both surfaces in white scales; lamina adaxially bright green, without obvious scales when mature; abaxially silvery with elongate pattern of scales when young, in age minutely dotted with white scale-bases; 3 subequal nerves us. recognizable on each side of midrib, but these well separated, at least in distal half of lf. Infl. drooping, most parts covered with ± appressed scales; peduncles 30–100 cm. × 4–8 mm.; panicle 15–40 cm. long; lower spathes long; racemes ∞, widespreading, more lax in male, all except the smallest spathes subtending sub-infls of 3–(5) racemes. Fls pedicellate and us. well spaced; per. yellowish, pinkish or (especially ♂) maroon, divided almost to base; tepals 2–4–(5) mm. long, spreading, tips lacking scales. Ovary 1-locular, green; style very short. Fr. c. 4–5 mm. diam., globose, translucent green to yellowish or dull brown, seated on dry membr. per. Seeds < 2 mm. long. diam. c. ½ length, terete and ± curved, smooth and shining, the funicular end carunculate. n = 35.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowering: Oct.–Jun.; Fruiting: Jan.–Dec.

Colenso, W. 1887: A description of some newly-discovered and rare indigenous phænogamic plants, being a further contribution towards making known the Botany of New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 19: 259–271.
Colenso, W. 1882: A description of a few new plants from our New Zealand forests. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 14: 329–341.
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]
Hooker, J.D. 1853: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Kirk, T. 1872 ("1871"): Notes on the New Zealand Asteliads, with Descriptions of New Species. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 4: 241–247.
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.