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

Hibiscus richardsonii (Puarangi)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Malvales
Family:      Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. richardsonii
Binominal name:  Hibiscus richardsonii
Synonym: Hibiscus trionum
Common name: Puarangi, Native hibiscus.

Hibiscus richardsonii is an annual to short-lived perennial herb that is nationally critically endangered in the wild. It is grows up to 1 m tall.
It is indigenous to New Zealand’s North Island and is found in isolated pockets from Te Paki eastward to Hicks Bay, including Great Barrier and Mayor (Tuhua) Islands. It is also native to eastern Australia in New South Wales.
It habitat is strictly coastal and grows in recently disturbed habitats, such as around slip scars, within petrel colonies, on talus slopes and under open coastal scrub and forest.
It produces develops solitary translucent pods which opens during October – May to display a cream hibiscus flower. The flower later droops and the pod becomes a seed capsule. The seed is long-lived and plants often appear following major habitat disturbances caused by storm damage or fire.
It is very palatable to stock, and is prone to being out competed by faster growing and taller weeds. As a species requiring open ground, it is especially vulnerable to this threat.

For more details visit: http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=2318

Photographed at Te Kainga Marire Native Garden, New Plymouth. December.

Photographed at Otari Wilton Reserve, Wellington.  February.

The translucent flower pods

The leaves and a flower.

Seed pod

The top surface of a leaf.

Under surface of a leaf