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


Brachyglottis rotundifolia var. ambigua (Muttonbird scrub)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Brachyglottis.
Species: Brachyglottis rotundifolia
Subspecies name: B. rotundifolia var. ambigua
Scientific name: Brachyglottis rotundifolia var. ambigua
Synonyms: Senecio rotundifolius var. ambiguous, Senecio reinoldii var. ambiguous
Common names: Muttonbird scrub

Brachyglottis rotundifolia var. ambigua is a natural subspecies of Brachyglottis rotundifolia. It is a native shrub or tree growing > 6m tall. It is endemic to coastal areas of the West Coast of the South Island.
The trunk has thin, brown bark that sometimes separates in to narrow strips. 
Brachyglottis rotundifolia var. ambigua mature leaves are >10cm long. They are leathery, a dark glossy green and are on long stakes. They are heavily tomentosed underneath with pale buff hairs. The new leaves upper surface is covered with fine hairs, these disappear with age.
The flowers which appear on much branched, terminal clusters during spring have a white furry body with yellowish disc florets at the tip. Seeds are dispersed during late summer and autumn. Brachyglottis rotundifolia var. ambigua will vegetative propagate by self-layering.

Photos below are of a shrub growing in the Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens. 
A branch tip with new growth.


TThe much branched terminal clusters of flowers

The flowers 


A juvenile leaf with its hairy upper surface.


A mature leaf.
  

The underside of a leaf

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