Threatened Native Plant Garden

Threatened Native Plants

Threatened plants from Auckland and Northland regions

Protecting our precious native plants 

The growth of the human population and increasing consumption is the main cause of species extinction. Can our efforts to live more sustainably and protect biodiveristy turn this trend around? New Zealand is a global biodiversity hotspot because most of our flora and fauna only occur here. It is our responsibility to ensure they are protected and enhanced. One third of our native plants are considered threatened or uncommon. Why have we nearly lost them? You’ll find some out some of the problems and solutions in this garden.

All the threatened plants in this garden are from the Auckland and Northland regions. We have reproduced their habitats and associated flora in miniature. As you walk around and across the lake discover wetlands, offshore islands, lowland forests, lava fields, salt-marsh and dunes. These are not ornamental gardens - they are planted and maintained as far as possible to mimic nature. One threatened species is highlighted in each of these habitats. Learn its story and what we can do to help.

Visit the island replicated in the lake where two of the rarest plants in the world Pennantia baylisiana and Tecomanthe speciosa grow. There is only one of each of these plants surviving in the wild on Manawatawhi (part of the Three Kings Islands). Botanist Geoff Baylis found both these threatened plants on the same day in 1945. Their populations were devastated by goats, now long gone, and this discovery saved these plants from certain extinction just in the nick of time. Tecomanthe is now a widely used vine in home and civic gardens.

Watch our 'conservation stories' video to find out more about some of these fascinating plants:



The NZ Government provided a grant towards this project in 1999 and the garden was opened in 2001 by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark.

Conservation is a significant role of Botanic Gardens worldwide. This collection tells the story of the plight of threatened plants, highlights reasons for their decline and opportunities for their recovery. We also hope it will promote the wider use of threatened plants in home gardens and amenity plantings.

Gardening Tips for threatened plants
  • Specialist nurseries stock some of New Zealand’s most threatened plants and although some may look like weeds, many are suitable for home gardens.
  • Tecomanthe speciosa is a spectacular climbing plant with bunches of cream-coloured tubular flowers over winter. This vine needs a strong structure to climb as it can be very vigorous.
  • Grow a plant only found in Auckland – Hebe bishopiana, the rock koromiko is only found in the Waitakere Ranges and is a pretty garden plant with mauve flowers that looks great cascading around rocks just like it does it the wild.
  • Shore spurge, Euphorbia glauca, is a great coastal plant with beautiful blue-green foliage that looks great in native and perennial gardens.
Hebe bishopiana

Hebe bishopiana


Auckland Botanic Garden provides opportunities for field training on plant identification prior to threatened plant surveys. We maintain ex situ stock for reintroduction into the wild and for inclusion in a seed bank.

Clianthus puniceus

Clianthus puniceus


Auckland Botanic Gardens supports threatened plant research through supply of plant material and other resources. We also support research into propagation and cultivation techniques relating to threatened plants.

For more information and recommendations visit our Plants for Auckland database section or contact us.


Entry area is accessible – the bridge and boardwalks are too narrow for wheelchairs or scooters.