Celmisia hectorii


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
hectorii: Named after Sir James Hector, 19th century New Zealand geologist and botanist who was originally from Scotland

Common Name(s)

Hector's 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 hectorii 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




South Island Endemic: from about Canterbury south


Montane to subalpine grassland, herbfield and rocky places


Stout much-branched subshrub forming low patches up to 1.8 m diameter; stems woody, ± 5 mm diameter; branches clad in leaf-remnants, branchlets ± close-set bearing leaf-rosettes. Lamina linear-spathulate to spathulate-oblong or linear-obovate, coriaceous, 10-25 × 3-10 mm; upper surface densely clad in appressed ± scurfy white tomentum, sometimes separating as a pellicle; lower surface clad in appressed whitish satiny tomentum; apex obtuse to subacute, often apiculate; margins entire or nearly so, slightly recurved, gradually narrowed nearly to base, then widening into thinly coriaceous, glabrous sheath c.5 mm long. Scape rather stout, 40-100 mm long, densely clad in floccose hairs. Bracts numerous, linear, up to 10 mm long, tomentose. Capitula 20-30 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear-subulate, obtuse to subacute, up to c.12 mm long, clad in spreading hairs, especially marginally. Ray-florets c. 15 mm long, white; limb elliptic-oblong, 3-toothed. Disk-florets 8-9 mm. long, narrow-funnelform; teeth becoming reflexed, narrow-triangular. Achenes 2.5-3.0 mm long, cylindric; hairs few to many on ribs, ascending. Pappus-hairs up to 6 mm long, white, minutely barbellate.

Similar Taxa

Easily recognised by the linear-spathulate to spathulate-oblong or linear-obovate leaves which are white-hairy above and below. The leaf shape readily separates from the much wider leaved superficially similar Celmisia iincana


October - February

Flower Colours



November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and hardwood cuttings. Reasonably easy to grow but dislikes humidity and cannot tolerate drying out. Best grown in a rockery or within a pot in an alpine house.


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

References and further reading

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