Included here is New Zealand (North and South islands), Stewart Island and a multitude of smaller islands.

Zeozeylandic Coastal Vegetated Shingle

Shingle sufficiently stable to support vegetation is common throughout New Zealand. In South Island important sites include Cloudy Bay, Clifford Bay, Nelson Haven, Kaitorete Spit, the Amberley and Wakanui areas of Canterbury, the area north of Greymouth and south of Awarau Harbour, while on North Island an important site is Nineteen Mile Beach.

Unfortunately many introduced species often dominate these shingle structures today. Among the typical native plants are a number of shoreline halophytes together with several shrubby or herbaceous mat-plants that are not necessarily confined the coast. These include Acaena novae-zelandiae, Festuca littoralis, Lobelia anceps, Mesembryanthemum australis, Meuhlenbeckia complexa, Salicornia australis, Tetragonia expansa and the endemic Carex ternaria (Cyperaceae), Linum monogynum (Linaceae) and Ranunculus acaulis (Ranunculaceae). Where the shingle boulders are large the vegetation becomes very scanty. Here the common native plants include halophytes such as Apium prostratum, Calystegia soldanella and the endemic Senecio lautus (Asteraceae). In Cook Strait shingle species include the endemic Coprosma propinqua (Rubiaceae), Plagianthus divaricatus (Malvaceae) and Raoulia australis (Asteraceae).

In places, terraces of very stable shingle have built up allowing a more varied plant cover. For example, along Nineteen Mile Beach and where the Canterbury Plain meets the Pacific Ocean there are mats or cushions of the generic endemic Raoulia lutescens (Asteraceae) together with the rush-like Muehlenbeckia ephedroides and prostrate Carmichaelia subulata

Two places where it is still possible to see the full successional sequence of vegetation on shingle are Nelson Boulder Bank and Kaitorete Spit but again many non-native species are present. Among the native species at Nelson Boulder Bank are the endemic Coprosma repens, Sophora microphylla, Suaeda novae-zelandiae and Urtica australis while at Kaitorete Spit additional endemics such as Carmichaelia appressa, Coprosma acerosa, Coprosma rigida, Discaria toumatou, Haloragis erecta and Raulia australis occur.


Randall, R. E. 1992. The shingle vegetation of the coastline of New Zealand: Nelson Boulder Bank. New Zealand Journal of Geography, 93: 11-19.