Raukaua edgerleyi


Raukaua: From the Maori name for R. edgerleyi, raukawa
edgerleyi: Named after John Edgerley (1814 - 1849) who spent time in New Zealand and Australia

Common Name(s)


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 - Gradual Decline


2009 - CD, RF


Raukaua edgerleyi (Hook.f.) Seem.



Brief Description

Tree with fragrant glossy adult leaves on long petioles and juveniles with uneven leaves arranged like fingers on a hand

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


Panax edgerleyi Hook.f., Nothopanax edgerleyi (Hook.f.) Harms, Pseudopanax edgerleyi (Hook.f.) C.Koch in C.Koch et Fint; Raukaua edgerleyi var. edgerleyi (Hook.f.) Seem.


Endemic. North (Kaitaia southwards), South and Stewart Islands. Scattered and infrequent.


Lowland to montane forest. Near sea level to 900 m a.s.l.


Tree 10-12 m tall; glabrous, branchlets ascending, bark cream to pale grey, rough. Leaves alternate, in juvenile plants 3-5-foliolate; adult leaves single; stipules absent. Petioles of juvenile to 10 cm long, 1.5-5 cm long in adults, reddish. Juvenile lamina 5-15 x 1.5-3.5 cm, linear oblong, deeply lobed, lobes acuminate to acute, terminal lamina subsessile or shortly petiolulate, thin. Adult lamina becoming entire, 5-10 cm long, membraneous to subcoriaceous, obovate to ellpitc-oblong, acuminate to obtuse, base cuneate, shiny dark green above, paler below, veins visible above and below, midrib raised, green above, reddish below and often bearing small hooks, aromatic when crushed. Inflorescence axillary, a raceme bearing three or more 10-15 flowered umbellules on short peduncles. Flowers 4-5 mm in diameter, green, in male or female clusters on same raceme; calyx minutely 5-toothed; ovary 2-4-carpellate; style branches (2)-3-4, connate, free at tips; stamens 5, projecting, < petals. Fruit fleshy, 3-4 mm, globose, green ripening to dark purple; style bases retained on apical disc. Seeds 3-5 per fruit, ovate to broadly ovate, straight along ventral edge, surface irregularly ridged and dimpled, 2.0-3.4(-3.7) mm long.

Similar Taxa

Juveniles often confused with juvenile Schefflera digitata, which usually has around 7 leaflets and the lobes are finely toothed. Adult may be confused with Raukaua simplex, whose leaflets are toothed and are not aromatic when crushed.


September to December

Flower Colours



October to March but some fruit may be present throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. Can be tricky to maintain. Likes damp soils and a semi-shaded situation, but in cooler and wetter climates it will grow in exposed situations.


Heavily browsed by mammalian browsers. Consequently infrequently encountered throughout its range

Chromosome No.

2n = c.24

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Notes on taxonomy

Mitchell et al. accepted var. serratus (T.Kirk)A.D.Mitchell, D.Frodin et M.Heads for plants on Stewart Island and western Fiordland with adult leaves coarsely serrate and 2-3  carpellate ovaries. However plants with these characters can be found elsewhere and adult plants with entire leaves are also found on Stewart Island. It is possible that var. serratus is of hybrid origin.


Description by M.J. Thorsen 29 October 2010 adapted from the references cited below.

References and further reading

Mitchell, A.D, Frodin, D.G, Heads, M.J. 1997. Reinstatement of Raukaua, a genus of the Araliaceae centred on New Zealand. NZ J. Botany 305: 309-315

Wilson, H & Galloway, T. 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of NZ. Manuka Press, Christchurch

Eagle, A. 2000. Eagle's complete trees and shrubs of NZ. Te Papa Press, Wellington

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

Moorfield, J. C. (2005). Te aka : Maori-English, English-Maori dictionary and index.  Pearson Longman:  Auckland, N.Z.

This page last updated on 20 May 2019