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Asbestos inaka facts for kids

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Asbestos inaka
Dracophyllum ophioliticum flowers.jpg
Conservation status
Invalid status (NZ TCS)
Scientific classification

Dracophyllum ophioliticum, commonly known as asbestos inaka and asbestos turpentine tree, is a species of shrub in family Ericaceae. Endemic to New Zealand, it is found only in North-west nelson in the Kahurangi National Park and was first described by S. Venter in 2002.


D. ophioliticum grows into a decumbent shrub between 30 and 100 cm tall, though can reach 200 cm in shade. Like other species in the genus Dracophyllum, it has leaves that are concentrated at the end of branches and has leaf sheaths, which in this case are 4 - 9 mm by 4 - 8 mm. Enclosed in the sheaths are 2 - 50 mm by 1 - 2.5 mm leaves which are very finely serrate, with 10 - 13 teeth cm every cm. The leaves also have tiny warts, are slight concave shaped, and leathery, with a waxy powder covering them. Flowering occurs from January through to March, producing white flowers on 13 - 28 mm long rectangular racemes.


D. ophioliticum was first described by S. Venter in a 2002 article in the New Zealand Journal of Botany titled: "Dracophyllum marmoricola and Dracophyllum ophioliticum (Ericaceae), two new species from north‐west Nelson, New Zealand."

Distribution and habitat

It is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand and found only in the Takaka and Cobb Valleys of Kahurangi National Park.


The specific epithet ophioliticum is from Ancient Greek and describes the Serpentine rock which it grows on.

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