Celmisia parva


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 parva Kirk



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: westerly from North-West Nelson to about the Paparoa Range


Lowland to subalpine. Inhabiting poorly drained ground in shrubland, pakihi, grassland, herbfield, and around rock outcrops


Small branching herb hugging ground in small patches; leaves spreading, rosulate at tips of branchlets. Lamina submembranous, ± 10-30 × 3-10 mm; linear- to oblong-lanceolate to narrow-oblong; upper surface glabrous or nearly so, midrib and usually main veins evident; lower surface densely clad in appressed soft to satiny white hairs, midrib usually distinct; apex subacute, apiculate; margins slightly recurved, minutely distantly denticulate, cuneately narrowed to slender petiole up to 20 mm long; sheath membranous, ± = lamina. Scape almost filiform, glabrous or with a few spreading hairs, ± 40-100 mm long; bracts almost filiform, with widened bases, few (sometimes absent), lowermost up to c. 10 mm long. Capitula ± 10-15 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear-subulate, acute to acuminate, apiculate, scarious, midrib distinct. Rays-florets up to c. 8 mm. long, white, linear, teeth very narrow-triangular; disk-florets 4-5 mm long, ± glandular at base, teeth triangular. Achenes narrow-cylindric, 1-2 mm long, glabrous or nearly so (in some forms with stiff hairs on obscure ribs). Pappus-hairs up to 4-5 mm long, very slender, sordid-white, very minutely barbellate

Similar Taxa

Readily recognised by the slender, much branched, creeping and freely rooting stems. Plants form compact patches or mats and the leaves are arranged in small, rosulate clusters are the tips of the branchlets. Celmisia parva is mostly likely to be confused with C. bellidoides and C. thomsonii which share a similar growth habit. It is distinguished from both species by the leaf undersides which are densely clad in thick, white tomentum. The leaf undersides of Celmisia bellidioides and C. thomsonii are either glabrous or sparsely hairy (with the hairs distinctly bristle-like)


November - January

Flower Colours



January - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown in a shaded site, planted within a permanently moist, free draining, acidic soil. Dislikes humidity and will not tolerate drying out. 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

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014