Included here is the Chatham archipelago situated in the South Pacific some 450 miles east of New Zealand. The largest is Chatham Island measuring about 30 miles in length while the next largest, Pitt Island, barely measures 8 miles.

Chathamian Sand Dune Vegetation

Just above high tide the sandy shores are characterized by the presence of small rosettes of Ranunculus acaulis and the cosmopolitan Calystegia soldanella together with occasional plants of the magnificent endemic Myosotidium hortensia (Boraginaceae). On the mobile dune ridges Festuca littoralis is the dominant species while in the more landward dunes the main sand binding species area Carex pumila, Primelea arenaria and Scirpus frondosa. In their undisturbed state, the more landward dunes support dune forest and scrubland chiefly comprising the endemic Myrsine chathamica (Mrysinaceae) and Olearia tranversii (Asteraceae) together with occasional plants of the impressive endemic purple flowered giant sowthistle Embergeria grandifolia (Asteraceae). However, this species tends to occur in more abundance on sand covered maritime cliffs and rocks where it can be found growing with the endemic Agropyron coxii (Poaceae).


Cockayne, L. 1958. The Vegetation of New Zealand. H. R. Engelmann (J. Cramer).

Cockayne, L. 1902. A short account of the plant-covering of Chatham Island. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, 34: 243-325.

Molloy, L. 1994. Wild New Zealand. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Northcroft, E. F. 1975. Adventive flora of the Chatham Islands. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 13: 123-129.