Flowers of Olearia hectorii. Photo: J Barkla.

Olearia hectorii flowers

Olearia hectorii, also known as Hectors tree daisy, is one of the most threatened of New Zealand's eight olearia species, all of which are part of a national recovery plan.

Olearia hectorii is one of a very small group of New Zealand trees that are deciduous. Most of our trees and shrubs are evergreen. Its endangered ranking is 'Nationally Vulnerable', mainly due to a loss of habitat. This is especially the case in areas where older Hectors tree daisy specimens still exist, but are unable to regenerate. This is usually because of a lack of bare ground around them where seeds can germinate and emerge without competition from weeds or pasture plants.

Olearia hectorii is found only in the South Island and the total population thought to number around 4,500 individuals. Very few of these occur on protected or conservation land, but on private property. Landowners, therefore, have an important role to play in the future of the species, both in being able to recognise the species and take an interest in its welfare and survival.