Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Elatostema rugosum - parataniwha

Nettle family: Urticaceae

Elatostema rugosum is a perennial herb that spreads by means of a fleshy horizontal stem (rhizome) which gives rise at intervals to numerous erect branches with brown to green to reddish leaves.  The surface of both stems and leaves is very rough, bristly and wrinkled but stinging hairs are absent. Very small flowers are compactly arranged on fleshy pads (glomerules) at the base of leaves. A genus containing around 350 species found in Africa, Asia and Australasia.
An endemic species found in moist lowland forest on the North Island.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: perennial herb, up to 1 m

Flower symmetry: symmetric

Leaf form: undivided, lanceolate-oblong

Flower size: 1-3 mm diam.

Leaf size: 80-250  mm

Tepals (sepals indistinguishable from petals): 4-5, green

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: stipule

Stamens: 4-5

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: wrinkled, hairs

Fruit: dry