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Aciphylla colensoi

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Apiales

Familia: Apiaceae
Subfamilia: Apioideae
Tribus: Aciphylleae
Genus: Aciphylla
Species: Aciphylla colensoi

Aciphylla colensoi Hook.f., 1864

Type: K (Herbarium of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Colenso.
Type Locality: Ruahine Range.


Aciphylla colensoi var. conspicua Kirk

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Australasia
Regional: New Zealand
New Zealand (E-Cape Prov. to Canterbury)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Hooker, J.D. 1864. Handbook of the New Zealand Flora. A systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, and Macquarrie's islands. Part 1. pp. 1–392. London: Reeve & Co. BHL Reference page. : 92.

Additional references

Allan, H.H.B. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. 1085 pp., Government Printer Publications, Wellington. ISBN 0-477-01056-3. Online version.Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2018. Aciphylla colensoi. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 20. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Aciphylla colensoi. Published online. Accessed: Feb. 17 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Aciphylla colensoi in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Feb. 17. 2017. Aciphylla colensoi. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 17 Feb. 2017.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Aciphylla colensoi in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: Speargrass, Spaniard

Aciphylla colensoi is a species of Aciphylla, commonly known as giant speargrass, Spaniard, or its Māori-language name taramea.[3] Individual plants may be up to 90 cm (35 in) in diameter and half as high, and consist of sharp spines, all pointing out from the centre. Yellow flowers may also be present, located on long, strong stems. A. colensoi can be found in both main islands of New Zealand, typically in altitudes from 900 to 1,500 m (3,000 to 4,900 ft).[4]

Taxonomy & naming

Joseph Hooker first described the plant in 1864.[1][2] The specific epithet, colensoi, honours William Colenso.[2][4]


It is found on both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.[4][5]

"Aciphylla colensoi". International Plant Names Index (IPNI). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Hooker, J.D. (1864) Handb. N. Zeal. Fl. 92
"Plant use details". Māori Plant Use. Landcare Research. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
New Zealand Plant Conservation Network article on A. colensoi
"Aciphylla colensoi Hook.f. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 17 January 2020.

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