How to use this site
This site provides information on the ecological traits of New Zealand plants.
You can access trait information for a species by searching
the database for a scientific or common plant. Once identified, clicking on the
plant name will display the ecological trait information available for that
How to search
At the top of every page is a link to 'Search', which will take you to the
You can either search for a plant by scientific (Latin) name, e.g. Ilex
aquifolium , or by the common name of a plant, e.g. Holly. Enter
the text to search for in either the Scientific Name Search text box or the
Common Name Search text box and click the associated Search button. If
you are searching by common name then you can opt to search only Maori names,
or all languages. The results of your search will
be displayed in a selectable list.
The search results page displays all plants that match the search
criteria in the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database and have
traits in the ecological traits database. However, all plant names that
match the search criteria can be viewed by clicking the ‘Show all plant names’
check box at the top of the results page. Those plants that have traits
are indicated by the
icon. The biostatus of the plant is also included to help with
determining the relevance of the plants listed.
Click on a plant name link to view the trait details for that plant.
How to view the traits of a plant
After searching and selecting a plant, the ecological
trait information details page is shown. This displays the flora description of
the plant and any associated images that are available. To view the ecological
traits for a plant, select one of the six trait category icons:
Status in NZ
|Whether the species is native etc. to New Zealand, its
history of introduction where applicable in New Zealand and overseas.
Whether the species or its relatives are weeds. Also whether the climate in its
home range and New Zealand are similar.
|Distribution of the plant within New Zealand, the
communities it grows in, and its global distribution.
|The species' life form, height, longevity,
morphological features, presence of vegetative reproduction, and leaf
|The species' reproductive system, time until
reproduction, resprouting ability, seed output, seed size, seed dispersal
Flower and Fruit
|Time of flowering and fruiting and size and properties
of flowers and fruit.
|Others: whether poisonous, palatable, or nitrogen
fixing etc. Wetland: descriptors specific to wetland species covering
morphology and habitat preferences.
The Links hyperlink on the details page will display a number of links to
related information on other Landcare Research web sites, for a particular
plant. These include:
Flora of NZ
Displays the information for the selected plant that is held in the Flora
of New Zealand series.
Displays the information for the selected plant that is held in the Ngä Tipu o
Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database. This provides access to the Names
Database and Collections Data, and can be used to check recent changes in
taxonomy, while also linking to further information such as distribution maps
Displays the information for the selected plant that is held in the Plant
Phylogeny database. This link provides a list of phylogeny trees
that the plant appears in (if any).
Why does some text display as boxes?
This site uses unicode fonts to display a number of symbols and special
characters. If this character '¢' displays as a box you need to check (1)
you have a unicode font installed on your computer and (2) that your browser
has been set to display unicode fonts correctly.