Alter-natives Wholesale Nursery

Acaena inermis purpurea

Piripiri, Biddibiddi


Above: Piripiri planted with white limetone. A small portion has browned off from lack of water during summer.

Below: Closeup of the fernlike leaves.

Piripiri planted with Shrubby Pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia astonii) and Wharawhara (Astelia banksii) with a Puriri (Vitex lucens) in the background.  A very effective colour and texture contrast, however in 20 years time the puriri will be shading out everything and it will lose its effect.  

A very low growing ground cover which will spread easily through small rocks, pebbles, wood chip or bark. The grey-purple fern-like leaves make an excellent contrast on limestone or shell.  To look best it needs some moisture in the ground throughout the year though it will tolerate dryness for a period.  Soil must be free draining.  It does not bear barbed seedheads like the other Acaena species.  The common name biddibiddi is a corruption of the Maori name piripiri. It is one of 20 native species growing throughout New Zealand in a range of soils types. 


Meaning of the botanical name:

(from meanings & origins of botanical names of NZ plants, by Marie Taylor)

Acaena Gk. akaina, goad, thorn, spike.  Alludes to the spines on the calyx (part of the flower).

inermis "unarmed". Lat. in-, not, without; arama, weapons. In Acaena it donotes the absence of the spines from cupules (cup-shaped structure).

purpurea "purple".

Maori names:

(Most commonly used name/s first & underlined.  Region or tribal use if known in brackets.)

Piripiri, Hutiwai, Pirikahu, Piriwhetau. Just to name a few.


Common names:  (Most commonly used name/s first & underlined.)

Biddibiddi, Bidibid

This page was updated on 30 May 2014.


Alter-Natives Nursery & Landscaping

101 Kioreroa Road


09 974 8733

If you wish to use any plant images from our website you can. All we ask is that you acknowlegde where they came from by noting our nusery name, address, phone and website (if you are overseas the the website is enough).



Site Design by Action Web Design