Olearia polita

Key Features

  • Divaricating shrub to 4 m tall with light brown bark on trunk.
  • Branchlets have narrow, raised ridges on either side of the stem.
  • Small, opposite leaves have reddened margins that are bright glossy green above and white underneath.
  • Flowers are tiny and turn into small, fluffy seedheads, with seeds dispersed by wind.

Distribution and Habitat

  • South Island, Northwest Nelson, locally distributed within the Hope River catchment
  • Poorly drained flats and toe-slopes and along streams under open beech forest stands, where flooding and slumping is common.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Regeneration failure due to competition with exotic grasses and weeds.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat – avoid afforestation of known sites.
  • Propagate and re-establish in appropriate sites.
  • Control exotic grasses by spraying if necessary.
  • Ensure that forest owners are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Suppor

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN). http://www.nzpcn.org.nz
  • Goat control - Department of Conservation, Regional Councils.
  • References
    • Dopson et al. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
    • Wilson & Galloway (1993). Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.