Celmisia lateralis


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)

shrub 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 lateralis Buchanan



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: North-West Nelson to North Westland (Paparoa Range).


Upper montane to subalpine. In rocky places, grassland, herbfield and fellfield


Prostrate or scrambling subshrub up to 300 × 100 mm, with slender branched stems up to 400 mm long; branchlets usually close-set. Leaves numerous, densely imbricate, ascending, incurved at tips but becoming reflexed. Lamina 6.0-12.0 × 1.0-1•5 mm; linear, grading into sheath, coriaceous; upper surface glabrous, ± glandular; lower surface similar; apex acuminate to obtuse; ± glandular-pubescent; sheath 2-3 mm long, membranous, with a few ± appressed hairs at base. Scape slender, 40-80 mm long, glandular-pubescent, with or without floccose hairs; bracts similar to leaves, up to 10 mm long. Capitula 10-20 mm diameter; involucral bracts 2-seriate, subulate-lanceolate to narrow-oblong, acute, up to 8 mm long, glandular, hairs ± floccose. Ray-florets c.10 mm long, white, linear, abruptly expanded towards 3-5-toothed apex; disk-florets tubular, slightly > pappus. Achenes narrow-cylindric, compressed, 2-3 mm long, ribs with long ascending hairs. Pappus-hairs sordid-white, very slender to filiform, finely barbellate, up to c.5 mm long

Similar Taxa

One of a small group of subshrub Celmisia which includes C. brevifolia, C. gibbsii, C. rupestris, C. ramulosa and C. walkeri. From these species C. lateralis is distinguished by more or less viscid leaves whose undersides are nearly glabrous or completely so.


November - March

Flower Colours



December - May

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Best grown from fresh seed but can be grown from cuttings. Should be planted in a free draining, moist soil. Excellent in a pot in an alpine house, or planted in a south-facing rockery. Dislikes humidity and will not 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

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