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NZ Plants

Aciphylla dieffenbachii - Dieffenbach’s speargrass, soft speargrass

Celery family: Apiaceae

Aciphylla dieffenbachia is a small perennial with basal leaves. Leaves are divided several times into soft, bluish-green leaflets. Named after the German physician, geologist and naturalist, Johann Karl Ernest Dieffenbach (1811-1855) who travelled widely in New Zealand under the auspices of the New Zealand Company.
An endemic species found in coastal areas on the Chatham Islands.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: perennial herb, with  flowering stem up  to  1 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 2-4 mm diam.

Leaf form:  divided into 4-5 soft leaflets with blunt tips

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: 50-70 cm with ultimate leaflets 4-9 cm

Petals: 5, yellow

Leaf arrangement: basal, singly on stem

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: sheath at leaf base; stipules

Stamens: 5

Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: dry