Celmisia coriacea


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
coriacea: leathery

Common Name(s)

Fiordland 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 coriacea (G.Forst.) Hook.f.



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


Celmisia lanceolata Cockayne


Endemic. South Island: Fiordland from about Nancy Sound to near Puysegur Point, generally most abundant in western Fiordland but extending east into Southland via the Hunter Mountains, the Hump and Longwood Range


Montane to alpine. A common component of wet grassland and herbfield especially near timber line where it forms large patches in boggy grass-rush communities intermixed with low scrub.


Stout woody-based herb with branchlets arising from a multicipital stock, usually hidden; living leaves in large rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole plant forming an irregular sward-like patch; leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudo-stem. Leaf lamina 160-400 x 25-55 mm, coriaceous, older leaves somewhat patent, lanceolate or occasionally oblong; upper surface sulcate, somewhat rugose in some plants, bronze-green with a conspicuous orange stripe along the midrib, pellicle bronze, obvious, and deciduous in old leaves; lower surface densely covered in glistening appressed tomentum, midrib prominent; tip acute; margins entire, often slightly revolute; base more or less cuneate, occasionally abruptly narrowed to the petiole. Petiole short. Sheath up to 130 x 40 mm, yellowish, clad in floccose white hairs. Scape densely clad in floccose white hairs, stout, up to 450 mm long; bracts several in upper half, erect, up to 80 mm long, strongly revolute; monocephalous. Ray florets 160-200, ligulate, the limb narrow-linear, white. Disc florets 200-250, 7-8 mm long, funneliform, yellow, tube with long eglandular biseriate hairs in lower half. Achene fusiform to obovoid, strongly grooved, 4.5-5.0 mm long, moderately to densely hairy; hairs short, appressed, bifid. Pappus unequal, up to 6 mm long, of c.30 barbellate bristles.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from C. armstrongii, with which it apparently does not grow by the leaves which are > 20 mm wide. Celmisia semicordata has long been confused with C. coriacea, from C. semicordata, C. coriacea (a Fiordland and western Southland endemic) differs by the presence of a orange-brown medial stripe on the leaf, and by the more or less evenly hairy achenes (rather than glabrous or with hairs confined to the upper half of the achene)


November - February

Flower Colours



January - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown in a shaded site, planted within a permanently moist, free draining, acidic soil. Dislikes humidity and will not tolerate drying out. Best grown from fresh seed which should be sown immediately or stratified in a fridge or freezer for 1-3 months


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 108

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Pappate cypselae are dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Description from Given (1984)

References and further reading

Given, D.R. 1980: A taxonomic revision of Celmisia coriacea (Forst.f.) Hook.f. and its immediate allies (Astereae-Compositae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 18: 127-140.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014