Gunnera is of limited distribution and density throughout Southland including Stewart Island\Rakiura.

What is it?

Gunnera is an herbaceous perennial with leaves up to two meters long, each with five to seven lobes. The flower panicle is a large spike up to one meter long and  contains hundreds of orange-coloured fruits.

What is the problem?

Gunnera produces large numbers of seeds that are dispersed through water and bird droppings, allowing this plant to establish in coastal and damp areas. Once established it forms dense patches excluding almost all other plants.

How to control it

Presence of Gunnera must be reported to Environment Southland. We will control Gunnera at no cost to the land occupier on Stewart Island.

For more details, see our factsheet on Gunnera.


Gunnera is an Eradication Plant on Stewart Island/Rakiura, which means our aim is to remove every live individual of the species at this site to permanently eliminate the possibility of any further propagation. Gunnera and is a Risk Assessment Plant on mainland Southland and offshore islands, meaning it's of potential concern to the region, but little is known of its distribution or the risk it presents.


Every person who knows or suspects that Gunnera is present in Southland must immediately report the presence or possible presence to Environment Southland.

For a full explanation of the rules for Gunnera see the Regional Pest Management Strategy.


Environment Southland monitors all active sites on Stewart Island to ensure they are controlled each year. Elsewhere in Southland, Gunnera is a Risk Assessment plant.

Page reviewed: 09 May 2016 10:47am