Scientific Name:
Astelia subulata (Hook.f.) Cheeseman in Cheeseman, Subantarctic Is. N. Z., 429 (1909)
  • Astelia linearis var. subulata Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. I. (Fl. Antarct.) Part I, 76 (1844)

Turf-forming herb, us. in extensive patches on peat which it helps to produce. Stem c. 1 mm. diam., traceable down into peat sts for many cm., us. closely branched and interwoven, giving off stout roots to within a few nodes of stem-apex. Lvs c. 10–20 mm. long, erect, almost fleshy; sheath membr., clad abaxially in long pale scales, narrowing abruptly into subulate lamina; lamina terete or shallowly channelled near base, flattened laterally at obtuse tip, adaxial surface indicated by narrow strip of caducous scales, otherwise almost glab. except for pencil of short apical scales that become brown-centred with age; no nerves visible. Infl. erect, ± = lvs, panicle represented by only 1–3 fls; spathe us. single, ± foliaceous, laterally flattened towards tip, its cup-shaped sheath enclosing basal fl. Fls with few scales; per. divided to base; tepals 3–5–6 mm. long, spreading in ♂, ± erect in ♀. Ovary very narrow-ovoid, 1-locular; ovules ∞. Fr. (7)–10–13–(23) × 3–5 mm.; pericarp succulent, orange, reddish towards narrow tip. Seeds c. 1.2 × 1 mm., shining black, rounded pyriform; funicle hardened into small beak.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowering: Nov.–Jan.; Fruiting: Jan.–Apr.

Cheeseman, T.F. On the Systematic Botany of the Islands to the South of New Zealand. In: Chilton, C. (ed.) The subantarctic islands of New Zealand : reports on the geo-physics, geology, zoology, and botany of the islands lying to the south of New Zealand, based mainly on observations and collections made during an expedition in the government steamer "Hinemoa" (Captain J. Bollons) in November, 1907. Vol. 2. Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, Government Printer, Christchurch. 389–471.
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. [Naturally Uncommon]
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. 1844–1845: 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. I. Flora Antarctica. Part I. Botany of Lord Auckland’s Group and Campbell’s Island. Reeve, Brothers, London.