T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Astelia nervosa (Mountain Astelia)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asteliaceae
Genus: Astelia
Species: A. nervosa
Binomial name: Astelia nervosa
Synonyms: A. montana. A. nervosa montana, A. cockaynei, A. nervosa var. nervosa, A. nervosa var. montana
Common name: Mountain Astelia, Bush flax, Kakaha.

Astelia nervosa is an evergreen perennial herbaceous tufted plant native to New Zealand growing to 0.5 m by 1.5 m. It is found in forest and grassland in the montane to sub-alpine zone between latitudes 37 and 47° south (the southern North Island south to Stewart Island).
A. nervosa has long, flexible, leathery leaves that are light green and grey in colour. The light brown to red flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be present if seeds are to be produced. The plant is not self-fertile. The mature fruits are generally orange.

Photographed Mt Egmont/Taranaki.



Flowers photographed Mt Egmont/Taranaki mid December.




The developing fruit 


 

The top surface of a leaf.
 

The under surface of a leaf.


There is a common silver form of Astelia nervosa.
This plant was photographed at Otari Wilton Bush Reserve, Wellington
  

The silver form's upper leaf surface.
  

The underside of the silver form's leaf.