Celmisia walkeri


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)

Walker'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 walkeri 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: widespread from about south Marlborough and the Paparoa Range south


Montane to subalpine rocky places, rock-clefts and fellfield


Sprawling, sometimes lianoid, shrub with main stems up to ± 2 m long and 5-15 mm diameter; branches and branchlets stout, woody, ± invested by persistent leaf-sheaths and leaf-remnants. Leaves slightly viscid, numerous, densely imbricated along branchlets. Lamina 20-50 × 3-5 mm, erect but becoming patent and finally reflexed; narrow-oblong to narrowly obovate-oblong, slightly narrowed to sheath, coriaceous; upper surface glabrous, ± viscid, grooved, midrib impressed; lower surface clad in soft white appressed tomentum, midrib evident; apex ± acute; margins flat, rather obscurely toothed; sheath pale, slightly wider than lamina at apex, 15 × 4 mm, pale brown, thinly coriaceous. Scape 100-200 mm long, slender, ± glandular-pubescent; bracts several, linear-subulate, up to 20 mm long. Capitula 20-40 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear, 6-8 mm long, pale, ± glandular-pubescent to glabrous, margins ciliolate, midrib distinct. Ray-florets numerous; claw ± compressed, 6 mm long, white; limb 6 mm long, elliptic-oblong. Disk-florets 6-7 mm long, narrow-funnelform; teeth minute, triangular. Achenes c. 5 mm long, subcompressed-cylindric; ribs rather obscure, with minute ascending hairs. Pappus of sordid-white minutely barbellate hairs up to ± 6 mm long

Similar Taxa

One of a small group of subshrub Celmisia which includes C. brevifolia, C. gibbsii, C. rupestris, C. lateralis and C. ramulosa. From these species C. walkeri is distinguished by the scape which is 100-200 mm long; by the lamina which is 20-50 x 3-5 mm, and by the leaf undersides which is clad in soft white tomentum.


October - February

Flower Colours



November - April

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014