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


Dracophyllum elegantissimum

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Dracophyllum
Species: D. elegantissimum
Binomial name: Dracophyllum elegantissimum
Common Name(s): Grass Tree, Slender Dragon Tree

Dracophyllum elegantissimum is endemic from the Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi Park to Westport in the South Island of New Zealand. It grows in light to deep shade in lowland to upper montane to 980m m a.s.l.   All the known populations occur on gentle to steep (5–45°) south-west to north-west-facing mountain slopes. Dracophyllum elegantissimum is endemic from the Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi Park to Westport in the South Island of New Zealand. It grows in light to deep shade in lowland to upper montane to 980m m.a.s.l. All the known populations occur on gentle to steep (5–45°) south-west to north-west-facing mountain slopes.

D. elegantissimum is a 5–14 m tall single stem tree with a closed candelabra shaped crown, long and long narrow leaves (33-100cm x 1-2cm) with prominent curled apices. Juvenile leaves are wider.
Erect terminal light to dark pink flower inflorescences (19-32cm x c. 12cm) appear December to February with fruiting February to March.

Dracophyllum elegantissimum is similar to Dracophyllum traversii, but differs in the leaves being longer and narrower with curled apices, inflorescence bracts longer, sepal and corolla lobes shorter than the corolla tube, nectary scales and smaller with a toothed margin and the ovary smaller.

It differs from Dracophyllum latifolium in the longer inflorescence bracts, smaller corolla tube, and corolla lobes that are shorter than the corolla tube, shorter filament, narrower nectary scales and smaller ovary. See chart at bottom of the page



Click to enlarge