Plagianthus regius subsp. regius


Plagianthus: oblique or lop-sided flower (petals uneven at the base)
regius: royal

Common Name(s)

Manatu, ribbonwood, lowland ribbonwood

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Plagianthus regius (Poit.) Hochr. subsp. regius



Brief Description

Tall tree with soft jagged pointed leaves and long sprays of tiny yellowish flowers and small green fruit that fall as a unit. Wood soft. Leaves 3-7.5cm long, much wider at base. Juveniles with tangled twigs bearing shorter rounded leaves with blunt bases.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Philippodendrum regium Poiteau, Plagianthus betulinus A.Cunn., Plagianthus betulinus A.Cunn. var. betulinus, Plagianthus urticinus A.Cunn.


Endemic. New Zealand: North, South and Stewart Islands


Coastal to lower montane. Often a prominent tree in lowland alluvial forest.

Similar Taxa

Plagainthus regius subsp. chathamicus is very similar. It is endemic to the Chatham Islands and differs only from subsp. regius by the complete lack of the filiramulate, divaricating juvenile growth habit typical of subsp. regius. Both subspecies are now present in New Zealand proper, and subsp. chathamicus is now often sold from garden centres as P. regius. So look for the divaricating growth habit if you want to ensure you have the appropriate plant for your area.


September - November

Flower Colours


Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed. However, seed is often difficult to obtain because it is usually damaged by insects. A very fast growing tree which is an excellent specimen tree for a large garden or park. Does well in most situations but prefers a fertile, moist but free draining soil.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


This page last updated on 6 Dec 2014