Discover the many native plants found in the foothills forests of Canterbury.

Download the publication

Native plants of the Canterbury foothills forests (PDF, 2,496K)

Grown from seed collected from native remnants in the Oxford area.

Beech/tawhai is the most common native forest in the Canterbury foothills. Black beech/tawhairauriki (Nothofagus solandri) dominates the lower slopes, while mountain beech/tawhairauriki (Nothofagus solandri var cliffortioides) is more prevalent at higher altitudes and on the more exposed harsh sites. Red beech/tawhairaunui (Nothofagus fusca) is also present, but is uncommon and found only in the Mt Grey area.

Podocarp species, such as kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydiodes), mataï (Prumnopitys taxifolia), and rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) are also present on the poorly drained lower slopes and moist gullies where they mix with beech. The understorey is diverse, and consists of a wide range of shrubs, herbaceous plants and fern species. The more common shrubs include species of Coprosma/karamū, lancewood/horoeka, broadleaf/kāpuka (Griselinia littoralis), putaputāwëtā (Carpodetus serratus), wineberry/makomako (Aristotelia serrata), and other Pseudopanax species.

Regenerating forest is also a feature of the Canterbury foothills flora and is represented by broadleaf, kōwhai (Sophora microphylla), small-leaved Coprosma species, mountain wineberry (Aristotelia fruticosa), mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium), and kānuka (Kunzea ericoides).

Southern rata (Metrosideros umbellata) is found sporadically, growing on bluffs and rock outcrops, especially in the Alford Forest.  

Canterbury foothills

Species name and common name

R = rare
T = threatened

  1. Aristotelia serrata makomako, wineberry
  2. Astelia fragrans kakaha, bush lily
  3. Carex buchananii matirewa, cutty grass
  4. Carex dispacea
  5. Carex tenuiculmis (R)
  6. Carmichaelia torulosa (R)
  7. Carpodetus serratus putaputäwëtä, marble leaf
  8. Clematis paniculata
  9. Coprosma ‘Taylorii’
  10. Coprosma linariifolia yellow-wood
  11. Coprosma lucida
  12. Coprosma propinqua mingimingi
  13. Coprosma rhamnoides
  14. Coprosma robusta karamü
  15. Coprosma rotundifolia
  16. Coprosma virescens
  17. Cordyline australis ti köuka, cabbage tree
  18. Dacrydium cupressium rimu
  19. Elaeocarpus hookerianus pökäkä
  20. Griselinia littoralis päpäuma, broadleaf
  21. Hebe salicifolia koromiko
  22. Hebe traversii
  23. Hoheria lyallii houhi, mountain ribbonwood
  24. Melicope simplex poataniwha
  25. Melicytus flexuosus
  26. Metrosideros umbellata southern rätä, ironwood
  27. Myrsine australis matipou, mäpou
  28. Myrsine divaricata weeping mäpou
  29. Nothofagus fusca tawhairaunui, red beech
  30. Nothofagus solandri tawhairauriki, black beech
  31. Nothofagus solandri var cliffortioides tawhairauriki, mountain beech
  32. Olearia avicenniaefolia akeake
  33. Phormium cookianum wharariki, mountain flax
  34. Pittosporum eugenioides tarata, lemonwood
  35. Pittosporum tenuifolium köhühu
  36. Plagianthus regius mänatu, ribbonwood
  37. Podocarpus hallii mountain tötara
  38. Prumnopitys ferruginea miro
  39. Prumnopitys taxifolia mataï, black pine
  40. Pseudopanax arboreus whauwhaupaku, five finger
  41. Pseudopanax colensoi orihou, mountain five finger
  42. Pseudopanax crassifolius horoeka, lancewood
  43. Raukaua anomalus
  44. Sophora microphylla köwhai
  45. Uncinia rubra
  46. Zotovia avenacea

back to top

Back to top