Celmisia dubia


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 dubia 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


Celmisia coriacea var. lancifolia Cheeseman


Endemic. South Island: North-West Nelson (Boulder Lake and Gouland Downs area, south to Mount Rochfort near Westport, Stockton and Denniston, and the southern Paparoa Range (Mount Watson, Mount Davy).


Montane to alpine. A species of impoverished or infertile skeletal soils. Commonly found in rock crevices, fellfield, or on very thin, infertile soils, also in sparse grassland. Celmisia dubia is the dominant Celmisia associated with the impoverished, water saturated, thin soils developed on quartzites overlying coal measures.


Woody-based herb with branchlets arising from a simple or multicipital stock, usually hidden below ground; living leaves in rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole plant forming an irregular patch of one to several rosettes; leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudo-stem. Leaf lamina (2.3)-8-(15) x (0.7)-1.6-(3) cm, subcoriaceous, erect when young but becoming patent (especially in small plants from exposed sites); upper surface usually sulcate, concolorous, sometimes slightly bronzed, covered by a thick lead-coloured dull pellicle; lower surface densely covered in glistening appressed tomentum, midrib prominent, often purple; tip acute; margins entire or with fine distinct teeth, often recurved; base narrowed to a distinct petiole up to 3 cm long. Sheath up to 6 x 1.5 cm, purple, glabrate. Scape purple, sparsely clad in floccose white hairs, often slender, up to 25 cm long; bracts several, erect, up to 4 cm long, margins revolute; monocephalous. Ray florets 20-60, ligulate, the limb narrow-linear, white. Disc florets 20-80, c. 6 mm long, funneliform, yellow, long eglandular biseriate hairs along most of tube. Achene fusiform to obovoid, strongly grooved, 2.5- 6 mm long, glabrous or with numerous bifid hairs. Pappus unequal, 4-7 mm long, of c. 30 barbellate bristles.

Similar Taxa

Allied to Celmisia insignis, C. monroi, C. morganii and C. semicordata., from which species it differs by the combination of having erect or openly spreading but more or less flat leaves that are > 20 mm wide, up to 150 mm long, and with a dull leaden pellicle, and by possessing a distinct petiole and purple (rarely greenish) sheath.


October - February

Flower Colours



November - 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


Where To Buy

Not commercially available


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 31 Jul 2014