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Current Threat Status
2012 - At Risk - Declining
Previous Threat Status
2009 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Sparse
2012 - DP
2009 - DP
Scandia rosifolia (Hook.) J. W. Dawson
Vascular - Native
Angelica rosaefolia Hook., Anisotome rosaefolia (Hook.) Hook.f.
Endemic. North Island, from the Three Kings south to Taranaki in the west and the southern Ruahine Ranges in the east.
Coastal to subalpine (0-1400 m a.s.l.). Usually on cliff faces, clay banks or amongst boulders, often found along cliffs lining river gorges, more rarely in scrub.
Semi-erect to somewhat openly sprawling, woody, aromatic shrub up to 1 x 1 m. Stems much-branched, woody at base, dark green to yellow green when young, maturing orange-brown; at first ascending soon spreading, rarely scrambling an rooting from nodes. Leaves alternate, pinnate; petioles 5-20 (or more) mm long, subcoriaceous, slender, seathing base broadly 2 lobed; leaflets 2-5(-8) pairs, 25-80 x 10-40 mm, dark green, glossy above, paler and dull below, subsessile to sessile, obliquely ovate, ovate-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, acute to acuminate, margins finely to deeply serrated; each leaflet subtended by a narrow, fleshy pair of stipules. Inflorescences umbellate. Umbels numerous, compound, axillary and terminal, on slender peduncles up to 30 mm long, umbels up to 800 mm diameter (usually much less). Praimry rays numerous, slender up to 30 mm long; secondary rays shorter, umbellules densely flowered. Flowers white. Calyx teeth narrow-triangular. Mericarps 3-4.5 mm long, yellowish buff to pale orange-yellow, dark yellow or orange, ovate to broadly ovate, oblong to broadly oblong to broadly elliptic or circular, surface semi-glossy, finely bullate or reticulate, ribs 5, the two commissural broadly and evenly winged or more broadly winged toward the base; style remnant erect and straight.
Within the indigenous New Zealand Apiaceae this species is extremely distinctive, It could not be confused with any other species. The presence of the interfoliar stipules are particularly distinctive - they are not known from any other apiaceous plant present in New Zealand.
September - June
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
November - August
Easily grown from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. This is a beautiful small shrub for a sunny situation. Plants can tolerate a range of conditions but flourish best in free draining, fertile soils. Makes and excellent pot or container plant. The leathery leaves are rather strongly flavoured but make an interested addition to a summer salad if eaten before they are fully mature.
This species is extremely palatable and it is greedily consumed wherever plants are accessible to browsing animals. It is evident that the current conservation assessment of At Risk/Sparse while possibly biologically accurate is not longer appropriate. This species has declined from significant parts of its range, and while it is still at times locally common, in many locations it is now represented by only small scattered populations or even single plants. The largest populations reflect the situation, they are cliff bound in sites inaccessible to all browsing animals, even possums.
2n = 22
Two forms are evident in the field. One has broader, rounder leaves and is strictly coastal, the other has narrower lanceolate leaves and is usually found inland on cliff faces (often on limestone or calcareous rocks) or along river gorges. There are other subtle differences as well. However, around the Hicks Bay East Cape area both forms meet and intergrade. Further study is needed.
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington.
Dawson, J. W. 1967: New Zealand Umbelliferae. Lignocarpa gen. nov. and Scandia gen. nov. New Zealand Journal of Botany 5: 400-417.
This page last updated on 12 Dec 2014