Danhatchia australis


australis: southern

Common Name(s)

Yoania, Danhatchia

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - Sp, TO


Danhatchia australis ( Hatch ) Garay et Christenson



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



Yoania australis Hatch


Indigenous. New Zealand (see de Lange & Molloy 1998): North and South Islands. In the North Island recorded from Waipoua south to Mt Pirongia but mainly found north of Waiuku. Also on Little and Great Barrier and the Mokohinau Islands. In the South Island known only from the Kaihoka Lakes area, north-west Nelson. Also present in Australia where it is known only from one site in New South Wales (see http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Danhatchia~australis)


Coastal to lowland, in forest dominated by taraire (Beilschmiedia tarairi) and nikau (Rhopalostylis sapida). This saprophytic orchid grows in deep leaf litter intermixed with a fungus which is mostly associated with nikau. Popular mythology has it that it is exclusively associated with taraire this is incorrect (see de Lange & Molloy 1998). It has also been collected once growing from amongst dense shrubs of Spanish Heather (Erica lusitanica). Easily overlooked as it does not necessarily flower every year, and after heavy flowering plants may rest for several years before flowering again.


Saprophytic, subterranean, leafless, rhizomatous, perennial herb lacking chlorophyll. Rhizomes buried deep within partially decomposed leaves and leaf mould; 3-5 mm diameter, vermiform, brittle, more or less opaque, pinkish grey coloured, much-branched and interwoven, irregularly bearing tufts of long colourless hairs, and vestigial scale-leaves. Stems erect up to 200 mm tall, unbranched, pale rose-pink, pinkish-grey, pale brown to mushroom grey, glabrescent to glandular-pubescent. Scale-leaves 1-7(-15), 10-15 mm long, chartaceous, much paler than stem, many-nerved, basal scale-leaves semi-tubular, those higher up open-sheathed. Floral bracts similar to scale-leaves. Pedicels very short. Flowers 1-5(-10), suberect. Perianth 6 mm long, brownish or pinkish-grey with white apices, externally more or less glandular-pubescent. Dorsal sepal more or less oblong, slightly concave; lateral sepals similar, more or less spreading. Petals similar, included within sepals. Labellum sessile, orbicular to broadly oblong, column-embracing; base broad, slightly pouched bearing on each side several fleshy hairs and/or elongated calli; median line thickened; sides becoming thick, fleshy and stiff towards apex, externally tuberculate; margins inturned, thin and membranous; mid-lobe minute, orbicular, deeply concave. Column almost as tall as labellum, basally subcylindric becoming winged, wings very narrow; filament broad, rigid; connective slightly produced; anther tall, erect, stationary, each cell with two sets of transversely oblique, closely packed, vermiform, sectile, pollinia; stigma appearing bilobed, often funneliform, with side lobes that flare widely in old flowers; rostellum long, narrow-triangular, wedged between the long pollinia.

Similar Taxa

None. It could be confused with Gastrodia which can grow in similar habitats but orchids from that genus have much taller, glabrous, dark brown or black-brown, spotted stems bearing fewer scale-leaves, and larger flowers.


December - February

Flower Colours



December - April

Propagation Technique

A saprophytic orchid which is unknown from cultivation. Should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened in New Zealand - but not very common either, and at risk from orchid collectors. Possibly threatened in Australia although its recent discovery there (2009) suggests it may be more widespread having been simply overlooked.

Chromosome No.

2n = 22

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 2 March 2007. Description adapted from Moore & Edgar (1970), supplemented with observations obtained from fresh plants and herbarium specimens.

References and further reading

de Lange P.J.; Molloy B.PJ. 1998: Two new localities for Danhatchia australis (Orchidaceae). New Zealand Botanical Society Newsletter 51: 6

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 23 Jul 2014