Celmisia cockayneana


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
cockayneana: Named after Leonard Cockayne FRS (7 April 1855 - 8 July 1934) who is regarded as New Zealand's greatest botanist and a founder of modern science in New Zealand

Common Name(s)

Cockayne'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 - Range Restricted


2012 - Sp


Celmisia cockayneanaPetrie



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




South Island. Endemic: Marlborough


Montane to subalpine. Rupestral, in rock-crevices in shaded sites


Stout subshrub; stems woody, c.100 mm diameter; branches stout, usually rather close-set, erect or ascending, clad in leaf-remains; living leaves rosulate at tips of branchlets. Lamina coriaceous, ± 40-100 × 10-15 mm; narrowly obovate-spathulate to obovate-oblong, subacute to obtuse, usually minutely apiculate; upper surface glabrous, veins ± distinct; lower surface clad in dense appressed white satiny tomentum, midrib dark, prominent; margins sinuate, distantly furnished with glandular denticles, narrowed cuneately to petiole then widening to nearly glabrous sheath c. 10 mm long. Scape rather slender to rather stout, 145-210 mm long, rather densely clad in viscid glandular hairs; bracts usually many; lower up to 30 mm long, leaf-like, ± lanceolate, apiculate; upper linear-oblong. Capitula 20-40 mm diameter; involucral bracts numerous, lower bractiform, ± 12 mm long, narrow lanceolate, acuminate, densely clad in glandular hairs; upper linear-subulate. Ray-florets ± 15 mm long, white, limb narrow-oblong; disk-florets tubular, c. 5-6 mm long, yellow. Achenes narrow-cylindric, ± compressed. 1.0-1•5 mm long; ribs very densely clad in short silky hairs. Pappus-hairs up to 6 mm long, off-white, hardly barbellate.

Similar Taxa

Perhaps closest to Celmisia haastii from which it is best distinguished by its longer leaves ( 400-100 × 10-15 mm cf. 30-80 × 10-250 mm), shorter sheath (10 mm cf. 20-30 mm) and extremely hairy rather than glabrous seeds. Celmisia cockayneana is endemic to Marlborough while C. haastii ranges from about North Canterbury South


October - January

Flower Colours



November - March

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably best grown from fresh seed and like many Celmisia this species will probably dislike high humidity and 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

Not commercially available.


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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 31 May 2014