Stellaria elatinoides


Stellaria: star flower
elatinoides: Resembling Elatine - a superficially similar plant of wetlands and fresh water bodies

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Extinct

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 - Extinct
2004 - Extinct


Stellaria elatinoides Hook.f.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites




Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known only from collections made from the southern Hawkes Bay (Lake Rotoatara, Colenso, September 1845 (this lake was drained in 1888)), and in the South Island from the Canterbury Plains (Ashburton), the Waitaki Valley (Kurow) and from Central Otago. It was also reported from Cape Kidnappers but NZPCN has not seen specimens


Lowland to montane, along lake sides, in river beds, and other seasonally damp habitats. Sparse herbarium annotations suggest it grew in short grass near lake margins. One collection from the Ashburton River has Raoulia monroi Hook.f. and Stellaria gracilenta Hook.f. mixed within it.


Tufted, glabrous, dark green to glaucescent, annual herb 15-40 mm tall. Stems decumbent to weakly suberect, usually several arising from base. Leaves dark green or glaucous. Petiole short 1-2 mm. Lamina 3-5 mm long, narrow-oblong or oblanceolate, apex subacute to acute, base cuneate. Flowers solitary; peduncles slender 3-10 mm, erect. Bracts leaf like. Sepals 2-3 mm, lanceolate, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, to linear-lanceolate, weakly 1-veined; margins finely but irregularly toothed. Petals absent. Stamens 5-10. Capsule ovoid or globose, < or = sepals. Seeds red-brown, 0.6-0.7 mm, surface with large, rounded tubercles.

Similar Taxa

Not closely allied with any of the other nine indigenous and exotic species present in New Zealand. The glaucescent to dark green leaves, diminutive tufted annual habit, and apetalous flowers readily distinguish it from the other Stellaria species.


October - November


October - November

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably would have been easy from fresh seed.


This species seems to have lost through habitat modification and possibly the spread of weeds into its marginal turf and ephemeral wetland habitats. It was last collected during the 1940s.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Cultural Use/Importance
One of the few indigenous spring annuals in the New Zealand flora. Herbarium specimens suggest it should be looked for from late August to November.


Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange (15 August 2008). Description adapted from de Lange et al. (2010).

References and further reading

de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Christchurch, Canterbury University Press. 471pp.

This page last updated on 22 Oct 2014