The native flora of New Zealand is unique having evolved in isolation for millions of years.
80% of our trees, ferns and flowering plants are endemic (found only in New Zealand).
About 1 -15% of the total land area of New Zealand is covered with native flora, from tall kauri and kohekohe forests to rainforest dominated by rimu, beech, tawa, matai and rata; ferns and flax; dunelands with their spinifex and pingao; alpine and subalpine herb fields; and scrub and tussock.
A very special and unusual group of plants occupies the harsh alpine zone of New Zealand’s rugged mountains.
Learn about Auckland's 170 threatened plants, including 70 which are regarded as of national conservation concern.
Find out about New Zealand’s beech forests – the largest remaining indigenous forest type in New Zealand.
The cabbage tree is one of the most distinctive trees in the New Zealand landscape, especially on farms. They grow all over the country, but prefer wet, open areas like swamps.
The spectacular tree daisy Rautini, sometimes known as the Chatham Island Christmas tree, can grow up to 8 metres tall.
The threatened Chatham Island forget-me-not, a much loved, stunning garden plant, grows naturally on the Chatham Islands - on coastal cliffs, rock outcrops and sandy and rocky beaches.
Find out about the many plants that grow on the Chatham Islands, both native and introduced.
Find out about one of New Zealand's lesser known endangered species - the coastal cress.
Dactylanthus is New Zealand's only indigenous fully parasitic flowering plant.
New Zealand has an unusually high number of fern species for a temperate country and about 40 per cent of these species occur nowhere else in the world.
Green slime and brown scum on stream beds is usually regarded as an unattractive nuisance however, it is a vital part of stream ecosystems.
Pīkao or pīngao is a native sand-binding sedge that plays an important role in New Zealand's dune ecosystems.
Harakeke/flax is really a lily that is one of New Zealand's oldest plant species.
The kowhai ngutukaka/kakabeak is found only in New Zealand. The shrub features clusters of stunning red flowers each spring.
Kauri are one of the world's mightiest trees. They can grow to more than 50 metres tall.
As each kettle hole is unique in its size, depth, location and water regime, so too are the plant communities (called ephemeral turfs) growing within them.
Kōwhai are one of our best known and most appreciated native plants.
Lancewood, or horoeka, is a unique, small tree with lance-like foliage that changes dramatically as the tree matures.
Leonohebe cupressoides (formally know as Hebe cupressoides) is a threatened plant found on the eastern side of the South Island's Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana.
Although mānuka/kāhikatoa and kānuka have a superficial similarity and are collectively known as ‘tea trees’ they are genetically very distinct from each other.
Matagouri, or wild Irishman as it is sometimes called, is a thorny bush or small tree that can grow up to six metres high.
Find out about New Zealand's nine native mistletoes.
Motukarara Conservation Nursery grows Canterbury plants exclusively. View information on the nursery and how to plan and maintain a native garden.
The Mount Cook lily is in fact not a lily at all. Learn more about one of New Zealand’s most well known alpine plants.
The nīkau palm is the southernmost member of the palm family and New Zealand's only native palm species.
Commonly referred to as New Zealand cedars, pāhautea and another species kaikawaka or kawaka, are not true cedars at all.
Olearia Hectorii is one of the most threatenened members of New Zealand's rare, eight-species oleria or small-leaved tree daisy family.
Pittosporum patulum is a small tree that grows up to six metres high, in sub-alpine scrub and mountain beech forest in the South Island.
Podocarp trees, such as rimu, kahikatea, miro, mataī and tōtara, boast a lineage that stretches back to the time when New Zealand was part of the super continent of Gondwana.
Rata trees, along with the pohutukawa, are one of the best known native trees in New Zealand. The rata and pohutukawa belong in the myrtle family of trees.
Learn about the ecological and cultural significance of shrubby tororaro.
There are three distinctive types of wetland forests - swamps forest, peatland forest and intertidal forest.
back to top
Phone 0800 DOC HOTline (0800 362 468) 24 hour emergency number to report:
Sick or injured wildlifeWhale or dolphin strandings