PA producing plants of interest
Our research has identified approximately 20 different plant species that are a botanical source of PAs in New Zealand. They come from three families;
Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Apocynaceae.
There are three types of PAs produced by these plants;
1. Senecionine/Retrorsine type PAs (RET/SEN)
2. Intermedine/Lycopsamine type PAs (INT/LYC)
3. Echimidine type PAs (ECH).
Please download our Plant Pack for more information and for help identifying plants and weeds containing PAs.
New Zealand geographical hot spots
Our research shows that PAs occur in honeys produced throughout New Zealand, particularly LYC/INT PAs, but some regions to date appear to have a higher prevalence in certain PA types. These areas are:
- Coromandel Peninsula
- East Cape through to Wairoa
- Wairarapa and Manawatu
- South Island high country and Central Otago
RET and SEN group PAs are more commonly found in the Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and East Cape through to Wairoa regions.
INT and LYC group PAs are more commonly found in the Wairarapa and Manawatu regions.
ECH group PAs are more commonly found in the South Island high country and Central Otago regions.
Risk management for you and your hives
To reduce the risk of PA levels in your honey, take a look below at the higher risk habitats, and familiarise yourself with the plants and weeds around your hives and foraging areas.
Remove or avoid potential PA sources, if possible. If not possible, avoid flowering periods.
Use our risk management decision tree in the Plant Pack to guide your decision-making.
Higher risk habitats
For RET/SEN PAs: forestry blocks felled in past five years, burnt, cleared or barren land that is hospitable to Senecio weeds, pasture contaminated with Senecio weeds
For LYC/INT PAs: bush margins and Parsonia vines, wild or commercial sites and gardens containing borage, comfrey and other Boraginaceae and Eupatoriaea.
For ECH PAs: wild fields and gardens of Echium species.
Resources and links to help
For more information and to help you identify plants and weeds high in PAs and where they occur download our helpful plant information pack.
PA research article
Check out our article in ‘The New Zealand BeeKeeper’ journal to learn more about our PA research.
For images of PA plants uploaded by nature enthusiasts. Enter the plant name in the search field and look for NZ specific uploads.
Plant Conservation Network
For images and general information on PA plants. Enter the plant name in the search field.