Celmisia bonplandii


Celmisia: Apparently named after Kelmis, one of Idaean Dactyls, a group of skilled mythical beings associated with the Mother Goddess Rhea in Greek mythology. Kelmis, whose name means ‘casting’, was a blacksmith and childhood friend of Zeus, son of Rhea and later king of the gods. In Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’, Kelmis is described as offending Zeus who turned him into adamant so he was as hard as a tempered blade

Common Name(s)

mountain Daisy

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Celmisia bonplandii (Buchanan) Allan



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites


Erigeron bonplandii Buchanan


Endemic. South Island: From Otago south and westwards becoming most common in western Otago, Fiordland and western Southland.


Mostly subalpine to alpine. A species of high rain fall areas, evidently preferring shaded sites in rocky places such as amongst boulderfalls and on cliff faces. Also in damp sites in grassland, fellfield. Sometimes found in avalanche debris along forest margins


Stout, usually sparingly branched low-growing subshrub forming loose patches up to 2 m diameter; branches long-clad in reflexed leaves; living leaves viscid, aggregated in ± rosulate tufts at tips of branchlets. Lamina coriaceous, 40-100 × 15-30 mm, elliptic-obovate to elliptic-oblong to obovate; upper surface glabrous, ± lustrous, midrib ± evident; lower surface clad in closely appressed white satiny tomentum, midrib dark, prominent. Apex subacute to obtuse, sometimes apiculate; margins sinuate, sometimes distantly denticulate, cuneately narrowed to broad petiole up to c. 10 mm long. Sheath submembranous, glabrous, 20-30 × 15-20 mm, veins prominent. Scape rather stout, ± compressed, glabrescent ± glandular, ± 150-300 mm long. Bracts several, linear-subulate, lowermost up to c.25 mm long, ± floccose at junction with sheath. Capitula c.30-50 mm diameter; involucral bracts up to c.11 mm long, thin, pale, glabrous or nearly so in lower ½, pilose and ciliate in upper ½, glandular towards apex. Ray-florets linear, up to c.15 mm. long, widening to 5-toothed apex; disk-florets 7-8 mm. long, ± cylindric, widening to 5-toothed mouth. Anthers without tails. Achenes cylindric, 2.5-3.0 mm long, with sparse hairs on ribs, sometimes papillose. Pappus-hairs sordid-white, slender, ± 6.5 mm long, very obscurely barbellate

Similar Taxa

Closely related to Celmisia lindsayi, a south-eastern South Island coastal species with which C. bonplandii is regarded by many botanists as conspecific. Pending further investigation both species are maintained as distinct here. Celmisia bonplandii differs from C. lindsayi by its restriction to subalpine and alpine habitats, smaller, wider leaves (40-100 x 15-30 mm cf. 100-150 x 15-25 mm in C. lindsayi); longer, stouter, glabrescent scapes (150-300mm cf. 50-200 mm in C. lindsayi), and mostly shorter achenes (2.5-3.0 mm cf. 3.0-4.0 mm in C. lindsayi).


October - March

Flower Colours



November - May

Propagation Technique

Best grown from fresh seed. Can be grown by dividing established plants. Does best in a shaded site planted within a permanently moist, free draining soil. More easily grown in the southern part of New Zealand


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 108

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.


Description adapted from Allan (1961)

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014