of New Zealand
Alpine Plants of New Zealand
ISBN 0 7900 0525 5
by kind permission of the author, Lawrie Metcalf and Reed Publishing
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the author and publisher. Appropriate acknowledgement
of the publication Alpine Plants of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
- This species varies
from a robust herb 50-60 cm tall, to a smaller tufted plant no
more than 10 cm or so tall.
- Leaves: Heart-
or kidney-shaped, thick and leathery with brown hairs fringing
their toothed margins. On the larger forms they are 15-22 cm in
diameter, while on small forms they may be no more than 2-4 cm
The flowering stem is branched (may be unbranched and with only
a single flower in small forms) and carries numerous bright yellow
flowers, 2-5 cm in diameter. Usually five to seven petals, but
may be up to 12 on plants in some areas of Marlborough.
- North and South Islands
in subalpine to low alpine regions: North Island from Mount Hikurangi
southwards; South Island from Nelson and Marlborough to about
mid Canterbury. 700-1800 metres. (Along parts of the Kaikoura
coast it occurs almost down to sea level.)
- Occurs in shady areas
of grassland, herbfield, subalpine shrubland, on sheltered bluffs
and rock outcrops.
With its bold, green leaves and bright yellow flowers it is a
handsome and easily recognised species, although, as currently
understood, the species is an amalgam of several forms ranging
from the larger plants, commonly regarded as R. insignis,
to smaller plants formerly regarded as distinct species. The smallest
forms generally occur in the southern part of its range.
October to December.