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


Dracophyllum politum

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Dracophyllum
Species: D. politum
Binomial name: Dracophyllum politum
Synonym: Dracophyllum rosmarinifolium var. politum

Dracophyllum politum is a stout, prostrate native plant endemic to South (Northwest Nelson (Mount Goul), North Westland (Denniston area), Fiordland National Park, Otago (Mount Maungatua) and Stewart Islands. Its habitat is montane to alpine (800m to 1800m altitude) in fully exposed sites on gentle mountain slopes, especially on mountain summits and plateaus. It is sparse to locally common component of subalpine to alpine shrubland, herbfield, fell field, grassland or bog.
Dracophyllum politum is cushion–forming, up to 0.5 m tall and 1 m in diameter, or a scrambler 0.02–0.5 m tall. The green to yellow green, reddish to brownish coloured rigid leaves curl slightly inwards for about two-thirds, then flattened to the tip, which is rounded and flattened.  The leaves are keeled underneath and have a large leaf sheath. The leaves old bases clothe the branches below the living leaves. The bark on the old branches is grey and very rough. The small solitary flowers are produced in summer. Smooth dark brown oblong fruits (2.5–3.0 × 1.5–2.5 mm) appear February to May

For more information, visit: http://nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp? ID=1810