Scientific Name:
Sporadanthus ferrugineus de Lange, Heenan & B.D.Clarkson, New Zealand J. Bot. 37: 415-419 (1999)

Robust, upright dioeciou s perennial, 1–4(–5) m high, forming dense rafts on acid peat. Rhizome 10–15 mm diam., horizontal, branched, covered with tightly appressed, overlapping scales; scales 10–15 × 15–20(–30) mm, ovate to broadly ovate, chartaceous, cream, pale brown to sometimes brown, lustrous, nerves slightly distinct to indistinct, apex rounded and mucronate. Roots 3 – 5 mm diam., 25–30 cm long, white, drying to grey, soft, spongy, with few (if any) rootlets. Culms up to 5 m tall, 10–15 mm diam., gradually tapering toward distal end, brittle, rigid, upright, terete to subterete, smooth to sometimes slightly grooved, green and usually glaucous when young, becoming red-brown to yellow-brown with age; branched in upper 2/3; branches numerous, slender, firm, flexible, upright, terete to subterete, often slightly compressed on one side; basal 140–200 mm of culm conspicuously swollen with soft, spongy, light brown tissue; pith absent, with 3 hollow triangular segments, these deteriorating to a ± circular cavity. Culm base with 3–7 loosely appressed, overlapping scales; scales 10–50 × 15–20(–40) mm, ovate to broadly ovate, coriaceous, light brown to brown, nerves distinct, apex rounded and mucronate. Leaves along culm solitary, distant, tightly appressed, gradually tapering toward tip; lamina 15–50 × 15–50 mm, ovate to broadly ovate, chartaceous, brown to dark brown, fading to grey, appressed to and sheathing culm, nerves indistinct; basal leaves with pectinate fringe, upper leaf margins entire or fractured into rectangular segments; apex rounded, with mucro 0.6-1.0 mm long. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, often with cymose branching near base, up to 150 mm long, red-brown, upright to spreading, sometimes drooping; male inflorescence dense, crowded; female inflorescence sparse, diffuse; flowers subtended by 2 bractlets, the 2 bractlets subtended by 1 bract; inflorescence branchlets subtended by reduced leaves. Bracts 5–7 × 3–4 mm, elliptic, lanceolate to ovate, light brown to red-brown, chartaceous, apex with mucro 1–2 mm long, margins usually membranous and fimbriate. Bractlets 1 .5–2.0 × 0 .8–1 .0 mm, elliptic to lanceolate, membranous, light brown to light red-brown, apex acute to acuminate, margins usually entire. Flowers pedicellate to almost sessile. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls of 3, 2.0–3.0 × 0.4–0.5 mm, subulate to lanceolate, light brown to yellow-brown, channelled, apex acute to weakly acuminate, mucronate. Stipe 0.6–0.8 mm long. Male flowers with 3 stamens; filaments 1.8–2.0 mm long, anthers 1.0–1.3 × 0.2–0.4 mm, cream, unilocular, medifixed, pollen yellow; pistil rudimentary. Female flowers with 1 pistil; style 0.8–1.3 mm long, pink, papillose on adaxial surface, decurrent with ovary on abaxial surface; ovary 0.3–0.7 × 0.2–0.6 mm, ± globose, amber to dark brown, vertical groove on adaxial surface; staminodes 3, each 0.5–0.8 mm long. Fruit 1.2–1.5 × 0.5–0.7 mm, narrowly ellipsoid, sides dark brown, suture light brown to cream-brown, surmounted by persistent, long style; dehiscing along abaxial suture. Seed 0.7–0.8 × 0.5–0.6 mm, shortly oblong to broadly ovate, light orange-brown when fresh, soon fading to light brown, sometimes with white blotches; testa membranous, surface bireticulate, primary pattern prominent with square t o polygonal ridges c. 1 mm wide, secondary pattern obscure to weak, irregular, ridges 5–7 mm wide; endosperm white.

[Reproduced from de Lange et al. (1999, New Zealand J. Bot. 37: 413–431) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Clarkson, B.D.; Clarkson, B.R. 1999: Taxonomy, ecology, and conservation of Sporadanthus (Restionaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 413–431.
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. [Relic]
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. [Relic]
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. [Relic]