General Description:

Donatia is a small genus of two species. One species, D.novae-zelandiae, is found in Tasmania and New Zealand while the other occurs in South America. Donatia is one of the genera that makes up the alpine “cushion plants”, a group that is characterised by a moss-like habit of growth. The group includes numerous species from several unrelated genera.

D.novae-zelandiae has small, linear leaves occurring on prostrate stems that often form roots along their length. It forms a mounded, cushion-like appearance up to about 1 metre in diameter. Small white flowers about 5 mm in diameter occur scattered over the plant at the ends of the small branches in late spring and summer.

Like other cushion plants, D.novae-zelandiae is not often cultivated and, as a result of its natural habitat in boggy, alpine areas, has fairly specific cultural requirements. It is best suited to cold climates and peat-like soils that are constantly moist. Protection from full sun may be required in non-alpine areas. Cultivation in containers may also be worth trying.

Seed is virtually unavailable and germination requirements are unknown. It is reported that cuttings strike reasonably well.


Plant profile image

Donatia novae-zelandiae
Photo: Harry Loots


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