Aciphylla crosby-smithii


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

Common Name(s)

None known

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 - Range Restricted


2012 - RR


Aciphylla crosby-smithii Petrie



Brief Description

Robust elongate tufts of broad spiky leaves with white flowers in a ball on a long fleshy stalk in southern Fiordland

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; southern Fiordland (possibly also in western Otago and elsewhere in Fiordland)


Exposed rocky slopes and short snow tussock herbfield. 1400-1600 m a.s.l.


Herb forming stout tufts to 40 cm tall in flower. Rosettes several, crowded, +/- elongate, forming cushionlike mass to 60 cm diam. Leaves many, extending along base of flowering stem, stiff, 1-pinnate; sheath broad, membranous, 4 cm long x 1.5 cm wide, slowly narrowing to apex; stipules similar to pinnae, 35 mm long x 5 mm wide, narrowing to small mucro; leaf with pinnae in 2-3 pairs, petiole and internode (inter-pinnae spacing) short, linear-oblong, c. 3 cm long x 3-4 mm wide, midrib often red, margin slightly thickened, yellow, tapering to pungent mucro. Flowering stem grooved, c. 25 cm long x (2-)4-5 cm wide, upper nude part slender, lower part sheathed by leaves. Inflorescence a globose head of compound umbels; involucral bracts with thick sheaths up to 2 cm long and leaflike stipules and lamina. Primary umbels usually several, c. 2.5 cm diam., secondary umbels on almost filiform rays. Fruit of two mericarps; mericarps narrowly-elliptic to elliptic, 4.0-5.2 mm, with 5 even narrowly winged ribs, 4 smaller ribs on vittae, vittae largely obscured

Similar Taxa

Most similar to A. spedenii and A. congesta, but the leaves extending along the basal portion of the flowering stem is distinctive

Flower Colours


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), 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

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 29 Apr 2014