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


Stilbocarpa polaris (Macquarie Island cabbage)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Stilbocarpa
Species: S. polaris
Binomial name: Stilbocarpa polaris
Synonyms: Aralia polaris
Common name: Macquarie Island cabbage

Stilbocarpa polaris is a large-leaved, perennial, flowering, endemic, native, megaherb. It native to the Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes and Macquarie subantarctic islands. 

Stilbocarpa polaris grows >2 in height and has unusually large, fleshy, kidney-shaped leaves that have irregular, toothed, lobule-like margins. The leaves surfaces are hairy. 
The 5 petaled flowers (5 mm diam) can be yellow or purple. They are arranged in compound umbels. The flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs). They have 5 sepals, 5 stamens and the ovary is below the petals.

Stilbocarpa polaris was used as a food source and a scurvy preventative by early explorers, sealers and castaways.
The long roots are saccharine and were used as sustenance for lengthened periods. The celery flavoured leaves and stems were also cooked.






The strap-like leaves belong to Bulbinella rossi. commonly known as the Ross lily.  It is one of the subantarctic megaherbs

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/