Aciphylla anomala


Aciphylla: From the Latin acicula 'needle' and the Greek phyllum 'leaf', meaning needle-leaf.
anomala: From the Greek anomalia 'unusual'

Common Name(s)

None known

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


Aciphylla anomala Allan



Brief Description

Inconspicuous sparse rosettes of long spikey leaves without stipules and with variable numbers of leaflets per leaf and with a sparsely leaved tall flower spike

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 Herbs other than Composites


Endemic. NW Nelson


Snow tussock herbfield 1400-1700 m


Slender tufted herb to 45 cm tall when in flower. Rosettes single or few. Leaves few, rather flaccid, 3-2 foliate or occ. reduced to a single leaflet (all forms may be present on a single plant). Sheath thin, pale, c. 80 mm long x 10 mm wide, tapering to apex; stipules absent or vestigial; petioles c. 7-8 cm long x 2 mm wide, keeled in lower part, flat in upper; internodes absent; primary pinnae 1 pair, approximate to terminal leaflet, flat, striate, margins finely serrulate-crenulate, c. 8 cm long x 2mm wide, abrubtly narrowing to pungent point; terminal leaflet to 10 cm long x 3 mm wide, sometimes with 1 short accessory pinnule. Flowering stem of male plants slender, ribbed, lower bracts sometimes without flowers; bract sheaths c. 3 cm long, thin, pale, tapering to a pair of narrow-linear, pungent, unequal stipules up to 5 mm long; bract lamina up to 7 cm long x 1 mm wide, pungent; umbels rather distant, on slender rays up to 2 cm long; umbellules several, c. 3 mm in diam., on filiform rays c. 2 mm long; flowers minute. Flowering stem of female plants similar but stouter, up to 10 mm diam.; bract sheaths firmer, furrowed, broader; stipules often reduced to one; bract lamina up to 10 cm long x 4 mm wide, midrib more evident, pungent; umbels more or less hidden by bracts, on short peduncles; umbellules few on short slender rays; fruit of two mericarps; mericarps (5.5-)6.0-8.5(-9.0), with 3-5 narrowly winged ribs, vittae sometimes obscured

Similar Taxa

Most similar to A. polita which has a more congested inflorescence


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Winged schizocarps are dispersed primarily by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).


Description adapted from Allan (1961), Mark and Adams (1995) and Webb and Simpson (2001).

References and further reading

Alla, H. H. (1961).Flora of New Zealand, Volume 1: Indigenous Tracheophyta - Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledons. Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Wellington, New Zealand.

Mark, A.F; Adams, N.M. 1995. New Zealand alpine plants, 2nd Edition. Godwit Publishing, Auckland

Webb, C.J. &  Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch

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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 29 Apr 2014