Celmisia haastii var. tomentosa


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
haastii: after Haast

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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


2012 - RR


Celmisia haastii var. tomentosa G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites




Endemic. South Island. Otago, Rock & Pillar Range


Alpine. On the margins of flushes and within seepages below snow banks.


Rather stout low-growing branching whitish-green subshrub forming small to large patches; branchlets ascending to erect, lower parts covered by leaf remnants, upper part obscured by rosette-leaves. Lamina 25-80 × 10-28 mm, broadly elliptic-oblong to obovate-spathulate, subcoriaceous to coriaceous; upper surface, usually longitudinally furrowed, white clad in chartaceous tomentum, this peeling with age as a pellicle; lower surface clad in closely appressed ± satiny tomentum, midrib tomentose but ± evident; apex obtuse to subacute; margins slightly recurved, very minutely distantly denticulate, cuneately narrowed to winged petiole c. 5 mm long. Sheath delicate, pale yellowish green, ± 20-30 × 5 mm; veins evident. Scape c. 50-150 mm long, densely tomentose to almost glabrous, rather stout to slender; bracts several or numerous, linear-subulate, acute to subacute, up to c. 2 mm long or more. Capitula 25-40 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate, membranous, softly hairy without, up to c. 12 mm long. Ray florets 15-20 mm long; limb narrow-oblong to narrow obovate-oblong, 3-5 toothed. Disk-florets funnelform, shortly 5-toothed, 6-8 mm long. Achenes narrow-cylindric, glabrous, 3-4 mm long. Pappus-hairs up to 5-6 mm long, very finely barbellate

Similar Taxa

Differs from Celmisia haastii var. haastii by the whitish-green coloured leaves, whose upper surface is finely clad in short, stiff hairs. As the leaf matures these peel off as a pellicle.


October - January

Flower Colours



December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Best grown from fresh seed. Dislikes humidity.


Not Threatened - but as an apparently narrow range endemic it probably should be listed as Naturally Uncommon.

Chromosome No.

2n = 108

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy
Not Commercially Available.

Cultural Use/Importance
Description adapted from: Allan, H. H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 28 Mar 2010