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Xeronema callistemon

Poor Knights lily

About the plant

Endemic to the Poor Knights Islands, 50km east of New Zealand’s North Island, the Poor Knights lily has unusual red bottlebrush flower clusters that grow horizontally.

  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Invertebrate food
    Plant is eaten by native and feral animals
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Pollinated by birds and butterflies by day
  • Pollinated by geckos by night
  • Discovered in 1924

Poor Knights Island

Separated from the mainland for millions of years, these islands developed unique plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.

The islands are protected as a nature reserve and a permit is required to land or tie boats up. Permits are usually granted only for scientific research.


Zealand

The only other species in this genus, Xeronema moorei, is endemic of New Caledonia. While nearly 2,000km from each other, both New Caledonia and the Poor Knights Islands sit on the submerged continental fragment Zealandia.

Zealandia is a mass of continental crust that sank after breaking away from Australia 60–85 million years ago. Most of it remains submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean.

Pollinators like to perch on the horizontal flowers, which are rich in nectar and bright orange pollen
  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Invertebrate food
    Plant is eaten by native and feral animals
  • Click on icon to reveal more