Aciphylla crenulata


Aciphylla: From the Latin acicula 'needle' and the Greek phyllum 'leaf', meaning needle-leaf.
crenulata: From the Latin crenus 'notch', meaning with notches which give a leaf margin the appearance of having small rounded teeth

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 crenulata J.B.Armstrong



Brief Description

Herb with sparse spiky leaves which have a thickened notched margin. Inconspicuous unless flowering

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. South Island, close to and west of Main divide


Higher rainfall snow tussock-herbfield. 900 - 1700 m a.s.l.


Slender herb forming lax tufts to 60 cm tall in flower. Rosettes single or several. Leaves few, flexible, rather flaccid, 1-pinnate, to 15 cm long x 5 mm wide; sheath broad, thin; stipules slender, spinulose; primary pinnae in (1-)2-3(-4) pairs, laminae of pinna widely spaced, linear, 5-15 cm long x 2-5 mm wide, midrib often bright red, margins thickened and finely crenulate, tapering to pungent point. Male flowering stem slender, inflorescence elongate, dense-flowered, 10-30(-40) cm long; bracts many, spreading; bract sheathsshort, mebranous; bract stipules short, pungent; bract lamina slender, to 4 cm long. Umbels and umbellules on long slender rays. Female flowering stem denser, forming an inflorescence to 60 cm long; lower bracts often empty; peduncles and rays long, slender. Fruit of two mericarps; mericarps narrowly oblong-elliptic to elliptic, (6.0-)6.5-9.0 mm, with 3-4 even narrowly winged ribs, other ribs not evident, vittae evident as narrow dark ribs between wings

Similar Taxa

Most similar in appearance to A. lyallii which is larger and whose leaves are variably either simple or with up to 7 leaflets or A. indurata which is only known from NW Nelson and which is also a larger plant and with 2-pinnate leaves






Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 22

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where To Buy


Description adapted from Allan (1961), Mark and Adams (1995), Webb and Simpson (2001) and Wilson (1996).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington

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

Wilson, H.D. 1996. Wild plants of Mt Cook National Park. 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

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

This page last updated on 21 Sep 2014