Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. novaezeelandiae

Key Features

  • A creeping, mat-forming herb with fleshy, white stems and elongated, green or brownish, wavy-edged, lightly-toothed, leaves up to 8 cm long, that are borne in terminal rosettes. Flowers are very conspicuous, up to 1.5 cm diameter with 3-lobed petals that are white or pale yellow or purplish, and may be produced in profusion.
  • Three forms of M. novaezeelandiae are recognised, two subspecies (subsp. novaezeelandiae and subsp. impolitus) and a distinctive form of subsp. impolitus (forma hirtus).
  • Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. novaezeelandiae differs from Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. impolitus in having glossy leaves without brown margins, rather than dull leaves with brown margins.
  • Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. impolitus forma hirtus is further distinguished by having hairy leaf margins.

Distribution and Habitat

  • Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. novaezeelandiae occurs in the lower North Island and Hawkes Bay, favouring light gaps in lowland kahikatea forest, or where this type of forest was formerly present, including pasture under light grazing regimes.
  • Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. impolitus is more widespread, occurring in both North and South Islands, where it inhabits damp sand hollows and sand flats in coastal sites, although it also occurs on river gravels in Central Otago.
  • Mazus novaezeelandiae subsp. impolitus forma hirtus occurs in the far north of the North Island and at East Cape, where it inhabits wetlands and kahikatea forest in coastal sites.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Competition with weeds and grasses.
  • Excessive trampling.
  • Afforestation.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Weed control (light grazing may help to keep grasses under control).

Monitoring Options

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

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN).
  • Weed management - DOC, Regional Councils
  • References
    • Dopson, S.R.; de Lange, P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D.; Courtney, S. & Molloy, J. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.