Hoheria glabrata


Hoheria: Latin version of the Maori name houhere which refers to H. populnea and H. glabrata.
glabrata: hairless

Common Name(s)

Mountain lacebark

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


Hoheria glabrata Sprague et Summerhayes



Brief Description

Small spreading soft-wooded deciduous tree inhabiting wetter mountain areas of western South Island and Mt Taranaki. Leaves thin, widest at base and narrowing to point, margin with many uneven blunt teeth, on long stalks. Flowers white, cupped, developing into a dry narrowly-winged fruit.

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


Endemic. South Island only, where found mainly west of the main divide but extending eastwards into Central Otago, where it overlaps with H. lyallii


Montane to subalpine. Occupying a wide range of open and disturbed habitats including forest margins and open forest, montane scrub, avalanche trails and slip scars, along river and stream banks, and river fans


Tree up to 10 m tall, deciduous; hairs stellate; leaves heteroblastic. Juvenile leaves: lamina 13–50 × 15–30 mm, broad-elliptic to suborbicular, both surfaces sparsely hairy or glabrate; apex subacute to acute; base cordate to weakly truncate; margin deeply lobed to strongly crenate; petiole 20–55 mm long, sparsely hairy. Adult leaves: lamina 36–180 × 25–80 mm, elliptic to ovate, adaxial and abaxial surfaces sparsely hairy to glabrate; apex acute to acuminate; margins crenate or double-crenate; base cordate to occasionally weakly truncate; petiole 25–85 mm long, sparsely to moderately hairy. Flowers axillary, solitary or in cymose fasicles of 2–3. Pedicels 12–25 mm long, sparsely to moderately hairy. Calyx 3.7–6.0 mm high, 7.0–9.2 mm wide, campanulate, densely hairy; lobes 5–6, 2.2–4.1 × 2.8–3.4 mm, triangular, apex acute. Petals 5(–6), 12.8–20.5 × 11.7–15.5 mm, white, oblong-orbicular to broadly oblong, adaxial surface and margin toward proximal part with scattered simple hairs, abaxial surface sparsely to moderately hairy; claw 1.5–2.5 mm long. Stamens 34–42; filaments 8.5–13.5 mm long, white, in pairs and adnate for one-quarter to three-quarters of their length, column with stellate and simple patent hairs; anthers 0.7–0.8 mm long. Carpels 10–15; ovary ovoid, 0.8–2.0 mm long, 0.8–2.0 mm diameter, densely hairy; style 8.7–10.6 mm long, pink, sparsely hairy, fused in lower half; stigma 0.3–0.4 mm diam., capitate to slightly decurrent with style. Mericarp body 3.8–4.8 × 3.5–4.1 mm, broadly elliptic, laterally compressed; wing 2.0–3.4 mm wide, extending from upper two-thirds of dorsal surface, weakly ribbed, sparsely hairy, margin irregularly toothed. Seeds 2.9–4.5 × 1.9–3.2 mm, orange brown, glabrous, semicircular to triangular, broader toward base, biconvex or with a rounded dorsal surface, with a narrow wing c. 0.5 mm wide, usually separating from mericarp at maturity. Description from: Heenan et al. (2005).

Similar Taxa

Distinguishing Characters: Hoheria glabrata is distinguished from H. lyalli by the longer leaves with distinctly cordate bases, sparsely hairy surfaces, shallow marginal indentations, and an acuminate apex.


February - March

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


April - July

Propagation Technique

Best from fresh seed. An extremely attractive species, unusual in the New Zealand flora for its deciduous habit. Prefers a damp soil in a sunny site, and does best in cooler climates. Dislikes humidity and will not flower in warmer climates unless it is subjected to cold treatment


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries


Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 3 April 2011

References and further reading

Heenan, P.B.; Dawson, M.I.; Redmond, D.N.; Wagstaff, S.J. 2005: Relationships of the New Zealand mountain ribbonwoods (Hoheria glabrata and H. lyallii: Malvaceae), based on molecular and morphological data. New Zealand Journal of Botany 43: 527–549.

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

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 10 Apr 2015