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Book cover - Alpine Plants of New ZealandAlpine Plants
of New Zealand


Dracophyllum longifolium
Grass tree / Inanga / Inaka


Dracophyllum longifolium, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, November 1995Reproduced from
Alpine Plants of New Zealand
ISBN 0 7900 0525 5
by kind permission of the author, Lawrie Metcalf and Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd

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 be given.


  • An erect shrub or small tree up to 11 m tall, but usually about 1-1.5 m in the alpine zone. Bark dark grey to blackish. Branches slender, ringed with the scars of fallen leaves.
  • Leaves: Crowded towards the tips of the branchless, 7.5-25 cm long by 3-7 mm wide, tapering to a drawn-out, pointed tip.
  • Flowers: In clusters on short branchless just below the tufts of leaves; white, tubular, 7-8 mm long.

Distribution & Habitat

  • North, South and Stewart Islands in coastal to low alpine regions from about East Cape southwards. Sea level to 1200 metres.
  • Quite widespread in most mountain regions, but much commoner in the higher rainfall regions of the South and Stewart Islands. Occurs in open forests and near the tree-line, and is often an important part of subalpine scrub and, sometimes, in mixed snow tussock-scrub.


  • Identification: A very variable species, particularly when growing above the tree-line. In some areas the leaves are very narrow and seldom more than 3 mm wide, while in others they may be up to 5 mm or more wide. Forest plants, particularly in southern areas, frequently have wider leaves.
  • Flowering: Between November and January.
  • Name: In the North Island its Maori name is inanga, and in the South Island its dialectal form is inaka


Web-notes: Alpine Garden Links

On this site

Reproduced from Alpine Plants of New Zealand:

Also see the article by Raymond Mole on:
New Zealand Alpine Plants: A Challenge for Growers


NZAGSExternal Links

New Zealand Alpine Garden Society


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Last updated: March 1, 2021