Centrolepis ciliata


Centrolepis: pointed scale
ciliata: From the Latin cilia 'eyelash', meaning fringed with hairs

Common Name(s)


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


Centrolepis ciliata (Hook.f.) Druce



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

Monocotyledonous Herbs


Gaimardia ciliata Hook.f.; Alepyrum ciliatum (Hook.f.) Hieron.; Centrolepis viridis Kirk; Centrolepis viridis Kirk var. ligulata (Kirk) Cheeseman; Pseudalepyrum ciliatum (Hook.f.) Dandy; Pseudalepyrum ciliatum (Hook.f.) Dandy var. ligulatum (Kirk) Dandy


Indigenous. New Zealand: North (from Central Volcanic Plateau and adjacent main axial ranges south), South, Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands. Also Tasmania


In upper montane, subalpine to alpine bogs through main islands but descending to sea level in the pakihi of Westland, in Southland, Stewart Island and in the subantarctic Islands


Diminutive, moss like herbs forming very broad, dark red-green to red-brown, broad, raised cushions up to 300 mm wide and up to 80 mm tall. Roots rather thick, fleshy, white or grey, up to 0.5 mm diameter. Stems very closely packed. Leaves 5–25 mm long, distichous, closely imbricate, setaceous, lamina channelled or terete, tip minutely acicular; sheath with ciliate margins, often produced at the tip into a ligule. Flowering stems > leaves. Glume-like bracts 2, ± equal, minutely papillate, tips inrolled, apparently opposite but the lowermost encloses a short peduncle bearing the upper glume and its flowers. Pseudanthia 1–2 in the lower bract, 1 rarely 2 in the upper, each subtended by a hyaline scale. Male 1 or 0 in each pseudanthium. Female 2 (rarely 1) in each pseudanthium; stigmas bright red, not connate at the base. Seed slightly < 1 mm long, oblong-elliptical, pale yellow, apiculate at each end, one tip very dark

Similar Taxa

Recognised by the moss-like, compact, dark red-green to brown-green, broad, raised cushions, and leaves which have finely ciliate sheaths rather than ciliate sheaths and leaves.


November – January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,Yellow


January - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by: P.J. de Lange 14 August 2006. Description adapted from Moore & Edgar (1970)

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. 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 24 May 2016