Celmisia monroi


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
monroi: Named after Sir David Monro who was a 19th century New Zealand politician

Common Name(s)

Monro'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 monroi 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


Celmisia monroi var. conspicua W.Martin; Celmisia minor var. robusta W.Martin


Endemic. South Island: from the Wairau River southwards to Kaikoura, Mount Tinline, near Hanmer and Lake Tennyson. Outlying populations are at Mole Tops and on ranges adjacent to Lake Rotoiti (Nelson). North of the Clarence River it occurs on coastal sites (e.g., Flaxbourne River mouth)


Coastal to alpine. Found mainly in the drier parts of the north-eastern South Island (especially those areas within the rain shadow). This is a common of screes, fellfield, narrow ledges on cliff faces, and rocky herbfield. It is also found within tussock grassland where there is naturally dry ground such as where rock outcrop, or where thin skeletal soils have developed over bed rock. Near the coast it frequents limestone rocks


Stout woody-based herb with branchlets arising from a multicipital stock, usually hidden; living leaves in large rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole plant forming patches of few to many rosettes; leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudo-stem. Leaf lamina 120-550 × 10-32 mm, coriaceous, stiff and erect, lanceolate to oblong; upper surface sulcate, concolorous, somewhat rugose in some plants, dark green but generally masked by a thick lead-coloured, dull pellicle which is sometimes partly deciduous on older leaves; lower surface densely covered in glistening appressed tomentum, midrib moderately prominent; tip acute; margins entire, usually slightly recurved; base gradually narrowed to the petiole. Petiole up to 30 mm long. Sheath up to 80-200 × 20 mm, greenish or rarely pale purple, clad in floccose white hairs. Scape densely clad in floccose white hairs, stout, up to 350 mm long; bracts very numerous, erect, usually up to 60 mm long and revolute, sometimes lowest bracts much larger and foliaceous; monocephalous. Ray florets 80-100, ligulate, the limb narrow-linear, white. Disc florets c.250, 8-10 mm long, funneliform, yellow, tube with sparse long, eglandular biseriate hairs at base. Achene fusiform-cylindric, strongly grooved, 3-8 mm long, usually slightly hairy; hairs short, appressed, bifid. Pappus unequal, 6-10 mm long, of c.50 barbellate bristles.

Similar Taxa

Celmisia monroi is allied to Celmisia dubia, C. morganii, and C. semicordata. From these species it is most likely to be confused with C. semicordata from which it differs by the erect rather than open to spreading, leaves whose lamina pellicle is leaden rather than silver or golden-coloured. The achenes of Celmisia monroi are consistently hairy while those of C. semicordata are mostly glabrous


October - February

Flower Colours



November - July

Propagation Technique

Easily grown in a semi-shaded or sunny site, planted within a moist, free draining, soil. Dislikes humidity. Best grown from fresh seed which should be sown immediately or stratified in a fridge or freezer for 1-3 months


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 from Given (1980)

References and further reading

Given, D.R. 1980: A taxonomic revision of Celmisia coriacea (Forst.f.) Hook.f. and its immediate allies (Astereae-Compositae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 18: 127-140.

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014