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


Brachyscome radicata (roniu)

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum Embryophyta
Class: Angiosperms
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Brachyscome
Species: B. radicata
Scientific name: Brachyscome radicata
Synonyms: Brachyscome radicata var. polita, Brachyscome radicata var. dubia, Brachyscome odorata, Brachyscome radicata var. radicata, Brachyscome radicata var. thomsonii, Brachyscome radicata var. membranifolia.
Common names: roniu, Spreading daisy

Brachyscome radicata is a dicotyledonous, perennial, rosette or sparingly branched, variable daisy that is indigenous (endemic) to New Zealand’s North (uncommon), South, Stewart and Campbell Islands. It is also endemic to Tasmania.
It prefers shady or permanently damp sites.

The plant has a short root that produces several aerial shoots. The leaves arise from the base of the plant (abasal rosette) and are up to 10 cm long. Leaves are also borne on the aerial part of the stem. The leaves broader towards the tip and are coarsely toothed in the upper half. 
Flowering occurs (Oct.)–Dec.–Mar.–(May). The flower heads are arranged at the ends of the branches and consist of ray florets (outer florets of the flower head) that are white or violet and the ligules (strap-shaped structures) that are up to 3.5 mm long. The flowers disc is yellow.
The aerial stems which are covered in tiny hairs are erect or sloping upward and often branched from the base, they can be secreting oil.
The Maoris used the flowers and the flowering tops of the sweet-scented grass (Hierochloe redolens http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-grasses-sedges-rushes-nz-natives/hierochloe-redolens-karetu.html) enclosed in fibrous leaves as a scented necklace worn around the neck.