Myosotis uniflora

This striking cushion plant is found only on high-country shingle river beds from Canterbury to Central Otago.

Myosotis means mouse-eared and uniflora is single-flowered. It is unique from other Myosotis varieties because of its preference for the stony river beds and easily recognisable by the dark green cushions it forms and yellow flowers which appear from September to November.

Plants like these form cushions as a way to withstand the exposed harsh environments they live in, typically at high altitude. Their smooth, rounded surfaces deflect wind, and tight growth prevents cold winds from reaching the plant’s centre.

Photos Sam Staley