Highway natives – twiggy tree daisies

Travelling south today through the Cromwell Gorge, near Champagne Creek (map link) Liz said that’s an Olearia lineata back there! So we screeched to stop and walked back – there were quite a cluster of these now rare twiggy tree daisies (Asteraceae). They have the divaricating forked branching habit common to many NZ plant families, bluish-green leaves, purplish young stems and VERY flaky bark. When not flowering they don’t stand out much and look like much of the surrounding ‘grey shrubland’ – a mix of native Discaria, Coprosma and Muehlenbeckia.

Olearia lineata are a keystone species supporting many invertebrates (5.3Mb pdf), as well as providing niches for native forest succession. They are threatened (and declining) due to land development which is common at their normal altitude.

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Twiggy tree daisy group. These are wild but make a well-behaved plant beneath powerlines

 

Olearia lineata clyde2_20181103_120133 (1500x).jpg
A juvenile 
Olearia lineata clyde3_20181103_120241.jpg
Even youngsters have the rough, fissured, flaky bark
Olearia lineata clyde4_20181103_120727.jpg
Delicate flowers with an incense-like fragrance

 

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3 thoughts on “Highway natives – twiggy tree daisies

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    1. Probably not far off – that area can get to about 44 C and minus 15 C (or colder). Rainfall maybe 350mm year. We have a lot of Mediterranean weeds and large areas of this region are a Thymus monoculture.

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