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NZ Plants

Aciphylla squarrosa - taramea, speargrass, Spaniard

Celery family: Apiaceae

Aciphylla squarrosa
is a robust woody herb forming dense tussocks with stiff basal bluish-grey leaves. The  leaves are divided three times with long pointed final segments. Found in subalpine regions from the middle of the North Island to the middle of the South Island.
There are 40 species of Aciphylla native to New Zealand all of which are endemic.

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 3 rigid  linear leaflets with sharp tips

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: 40-50 cm, terminal leaflet to 20 cm

Petals: 5, yellow

Leaf arrangement: basal, singly on the stem

Sexuality: unisexual, on different plants

Leaf attachment: sheath at leaf base; stipules

Stamens: 5

Leaf margin: finely toothed

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: dry