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


Raoulia tenuicaulis (Scabweed, Tutahuna)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Raoulia
Species: R. tenuicaulis
Binomial name:
Common name: Scabweed, Tutahuna, Mat daisy.

Raoulia tenuicaulis is the most common species of the Raoulia. It is found from the lowland to low-alpine areas from Auckland south. It occupies more than one latitudinal zone on Mt. Egmont/Taranaki and can be found along the course of the Stony River below Bells Falls to the park boundary.
This species forms a bright-green flat mat, roughly circular or ellipsoid, compact in the centre, but very loose and open at the margin. Its mats, perhaps 1 m. in diameter but later on they frequently run together so that large patches, 25 square metres in area, become covered with this plant. The surface is rough; it has a “bristly” appearance, owing to the numerous acute leaves, but owing to the laxness of growth and the flexibility of the leaves and stems the general “feel” of the mat is soft.
The main stems are prostrate, closely appressed to the ground and above give off secondary branches, but below root copiously. They are wiry, thin (main stem 2 mm. diameter, ultimate branchlets 0.5 mm. diameter), and brownish or blackish in colour.

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.