Celmisia rupestris


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
rupestris: From the Latin rupes 'rock, cliff', meaning growing in rocky places

Common Name(s)

mountain daisy

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - Sp


Celmisia rupestris Cheeseman



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 (Kahurangi National Park) - Mount Glasgow, Mount Peel (Cobb), Cobb Valley, Aorere Peak


Upper montane to alpine. On cliff faces, rock outcrops and amongst rocks or in fellfield


Prostrate or straggling shrub with stems up to ± 1 m long and 10 mm diameter, branched; branchlets rather slender to stout, up to c. 150 mm long. Leaves numerous, densely imbricate; lamina 10-25 × 2.5-3.0 mm, narrowly linear-spathulate, coriaceous, gradually narrowed to sheath; upper surface rather densely clad in soft white not appressed hairs, midrib concealed by hairs; lower surface similarly clad, but more densely so; apex obtuse to subacute, usually apiculate; margins strongly revolute, but not to midrib. Sheath broad, membranous, hairy. Scape glandular-pubescent, slender, up to ± 150 mm long; bracts numerous, lower leaf-like, lamina 9.0-10.0 mm long expanding into sheath. Capitula 25-30 mm diameter; involucral bracts in two series, narrow-linear, c. 5 mm long, glandular-pubescent, ± clad in floccose hairs Ray-florets many, narrow, clawed, limb c.6 mm long, white; disk-florets 3.8-4.1 mm long, tubular. Achenes subcylindric, 2.0-2.5 mm long, ribs with rather sparse hairs. Pappus-hairs sordid-white, up to 5 mm long

Similar Taxa

One of a small group of subshrub Celmisia which includes C. brevifolia, C. gibbsii, C. lateralis, C. ramulosa and C. walkeri. From these species C. rupestris is perhaps most similar to C. gibbsii from which it is distinguished by the upper leaf surface which is densely clad in white hair.


October - February

Flower Colours



November - 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.


A naturally uncommon species that does not appear to be actively 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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014