Celmisia holosericea


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 holosericea (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




Endemic. South Island. Fiordland


Coastal to lowland to lower subalpine rocky places, grassland, herb-field


Large tufted herb with leaves all radical, sheaths imbricate around stout stem. Lamina 120-300 × 25-65 mm, coriaceous, oblong-to elliptic-lanceolate; upper surface glabrous; lower surface densely clad in closely appressed white satiny tomentum, midrib prominent, dark; apex acute to subacuminate, usually distinctly apiculate; margins flat, rather distantly denticulate, narrowed to base or very short broad petiole. Sheath ± 40 × 15 mm, coriaceous, glabrous, ribbed. Scape stout to rather slender, angled or flattened, ± 180-600 mm long. Bracts linear-subulate, c. 25-35 mm long (outer up to 50 mm). Capitula 50-70 mm diameter, subtending bracts similar to upper scape-bracts. Involucral bracts 10-25 mm long; inner narrow, glabrous, glandular-pubescent; outer broader, lanceolate, tomentose without. Ray-florets numerous, c. 25 mm long, narrow; limb gradually widening to obtuse 3-toothed apex. Disk-florets tubular to funnelform, c. 7-8 mm long. Achenes 5-6 mm long, obovoid-compressed to subfusiform, densely clad in short ascending hairs. Pappus-hairs c. 5-7 mm long, white to sordid-white, becoming rufous


November - January

Flower Colours



December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Can be grown from fresh seed but requires a shaded, permanently moist situation.


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

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.

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