Celmisia semicordata subsp. stricta


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
stricta: From the Latin strictus 'upright, stiff'

Common Name(s)

large 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 semicordata subsp. stricta (Cockayne) Given



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites


Celmisia coriacea var. stricta Cockayne


Endemic: South Island: Mountains of western Otago and adjacent Southland (Eyre Mountains, western Garvie Mountains and Hector Range, Mid Dome, Cupola, Takitimu Mountains, Hunter Mountains). Probably also the Hokonui Hills and Blue Mountains.


A prominent member of montane and subalpine grassland communities through its area of distribution especially where burning has disturbed native communities. It occupies a zone between the wetter mountains of Fiordland and Central Otago where Celmisia semicordata subsp. aurigans apparently replaces it.


Stout woody-based much-branched herb forming large carpets with branchlets arising from a multicipital stock, usually hidden; living leaves in large rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole plant forming an irregular sward-like patch; leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudo-stem. Leaf lamina 110-320 × 20-40 mm, more or less coriaceous, at first erect but soon becoming patent, narrowly lanceolate to narrowly oblong-ovate; upper surface regularly sulcate, marging strongly recurved, more or less concolorous, masked by an extremely silvery pellicle 9this sometimes becoming lead-coloured when old); lower surface densely covered in glistening appressed tomentum, midrib prominent; tip acute; margins entire, flat or moderately recurved; base cuneate, gradually tapered to the petiole. Petiole short. Sheath up to 120 × 0 mm, greenish or slightly purplish, clad in floccose white hairs. Scape densely clad in floccose white hairs, very stout, up to 450 mm long; with numerous silvery bracts in upper 1/3, these erect, up to 150 mm long, margins revolute; usually monocephalous but occasionally with several capitula especially in cultivated specimens. Ray florets 200-250, ligulate, the limb narrow-linear, white. Disc florets 400-450, 8-9 mm long, funneliform, yellow, tube with long eglandular biseriate hairs in lower half. Achene fusiform, strongly grooved, 3.5-8.0 mm long, slightly hairy; hairs short, appressed, bifid. Pappus unequal, 7-8 mm long, of c.40 barbellate bristles.

Similar Taxa

Celmisia semicordata subsp. stricta differs from subsp. semicordata by forming larger more extensively branched patches, and by the leaves which are narrower, tapering, and more rigid and which have an extremely silvery rather than silver or greenish bronze pellicle. C. semidordata subsp. aurigens differs from subsp. stricta by its wider leaves which have a golden rather than silver pellicle


October - February

Flower Colours



November - July

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


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.

This page last updated on 25 Sep 2013