Dryland River Terraces, Foothills and Inland Basins

Drylands are areas of naturally low rainfall. They typically are made of shrublands and fescue tussock grasslands. They are precious habitats that cover 19% of New Zealand's land area. Drylands contain about half of New Zealand's most threatened plant species. There is a very high diversity of native herbs, sub-shrubs and grasses.

The animals in drylands are mostly lizards and invertebrates but also important habitats for birds. Drylands have important biodiversity, natural, physical, cultural and recreational values. Drylands might be used for carbon sequestration (carbon capture and storage), as well as soil and water conservation.

Previously drylands were used for pasture but more recently for cropping, viticulture, horticulture, dairying, forestry, and lifestyle blocks. There has been an extensive loss of dryland ecosystems to agricultural development. As a result, drylands are New Zealand’s least protected and most threatened ecosystems.


Source: Biodiversity Consultant Sue McGaw (NZCD Arch. B.Com Hort, Msc. Ecol)

See more detailed plant listing for Drylands

Trees/Shrubs/Creepers/Climbers Grasses/Flaxes
 Acaena anserinifolia  Carex virgata
 Aciphylla aurea  Dichelacne crinita
 Aciphylla subflabellata  Festuca novae-zelandiae
 Aristotelia serrata  Phormium cookianum
 Brachyglottis monroi  Poa cita
 Carmichaelia australis  Poa imbecilla
 Clematis afoliata  
 Clematis paniculata  
 Coprosma acerosa  
 Coprosma areolata  
 Coprosma brunnea  
 Coprosma crassifolia  
 Coprosma interdexta (R)  
 Coprosma propinqua  
 Coprosma rhamnoides  
 Coprosma robusta  
 Coprosma rubra  
 Coprosma rugosa  
 Coprosma virescens  
 Cordyline australis  
 Corokia cotoneaster  
 Dacrycarpus dacrydioides  
 Discaria toumatou  
 Haloragis erecta  
 Helichrysum bellidioides   
 Hoheria angustifolia  
 Kunzea ericoides  
 Leptinella dioica  
 Leptinella filiformis  
 Leptospermum scoparium  
 Melicytus alpinus  
 Melicytus crassifolius  
 Muehlenbeckia astonii  
 Muehlenbeckia axillaris  
 Muehlenbeckia complexa  
 Myrsine divaricata  
 Olearia adenocarpa  
 Olearia avicenniifolia  
 Olearia fragrantissima  
 Olearia lineata  
 Olearia nummulariifolia  
 Olearia paniculata  
 Ozothamnus leptophyllus  
 Pimelea prostrata  
 Raoulia hookeri  
 Rubus schmidelioides  
 Rubus squarrosus  
 Scleranthus uniflorus  
 Sophora microphylla  
 Sophora prostrata  
 Veronica odora  
 Veronica traversii  

Additional plant species for sheltered gullies.

Trees/Shrubs Grasses/Flaxes
 Coprosma rotundifolia  Austroderia richardii
 Fuchsia excorticata  Phormium tenax
 Griselinia littoralis  
 Melicytus ramiflorus  
 Myrsine australis  
 Pittosporum eugenioides  
 Pittosporum tenuifolium  
 Podocarpus totara  
 Pseudopanax arboreus  
 Pseudopanax crassifolius  
 Veronica salicifolia  

PLANT NAME (T = threatened, R = rare)