Celmisia laricifolia


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
laricifolia: larch leaf

Common Name(s)

needle-leaved 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 laricifolia 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: Widespread from Nelson south to Southland


Montane to subalpine in open sparsely vegetated ground, on the margins of mires, in grassland, fellfield, and rocky places.


Small slender branched subshrub up to c. 150 mm tall; branches slender, diverging, clad in leaf-remnants; branchlets densely clad in imbricate, ascending, finally recurved, leaves. Lamina very narrow-linear, c.8.0-20.0 × 1.0-1•5 mm, subcoriaceous; upper surface dark, dirty-silvery-grey, with a delicate deciduous pellicle, lower clad in a very thin white to grey-white appressed tomentum; apex produced into a delicate acicular point c.2 mm long, easily broken off; margin recurved nearly or quite to midrib; base slightly narrowed to pale scarious ± pilose sheath 8.0 × 1.0-1•5 mm. Scape 5-10 mm long, very slender to almost filiform, ± clad in loose floccose deciduous hairs; bracts few, narrow-subulate, minute, sts absent. Capitula 10-20 mm diameter; involucral bracts subulate to linear-lanceolate, erect, membranous, c.7 mm long. Ray-florets several, prominent, up to c. 12 mm long, limb gradually widening to apex; disk-florets funnelform to campanulate, hardly > 5 mm long. Achenes slender, compressed-cylindric, ± 3 mm long, clad in ascending stiff hairs; pappus-hairs white, up to 4•5 mm long, very minutely barbellate

Similar Taxa

Similar to C. similis. Celmisia similis differs from C. laricifolia by the darker distinctly red colour of the scapes, and by the stiffer and wider leaves which are silvery and pellicled on the upper surface (those of C. laricifolia being bronze-green and glabrous). Another distinction is that in fresh specimens the leaves of C. similis tend to be clustered towards the branchlet tips, whereas those of C. laricifolia are usually fairly evenly distributed along the branchlets


September - May

Flower Colours



October - August

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. One of the few Celmisia that does well in cultivation. As with most Celmisia dislikes humidity and will not long tolerate drying out.


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 (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