Celmisia gibbsii


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
gibbsii: Named in honor of Frederick G Gibbs (1866-1953)

Common Name(s)

Gibbs 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 gibbsii 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




Endemic. South Island: North-West Nelson (Kahurangi National Park - Mount Cobb, Waingaro Peak, Mount Lockett, Mount Zetland)


Alpine in moist rocky places and fellfield:


Small shrublet with sparingly branched woody stems. Leaves numerous, closely imbricate along ascending branchlets. Lamina 10.0-20.0 × 2.0-3.5 mm, spreading from sheathing base, finally reflexed, linear-lanceolate, coriaceous, midrib impressed above, prominent below; upper surface glabrous, rather pale green; lower surface with rather sparse minute deciduous scurfy scales; apex thickened, obtuse to subacute; base hardly widened to membranous sheath bearing scurfy scales; margins thick, revolute almost to midrib. Scape ± 40-60 mm long, slender, sparsely clad in scurfy scales; bracts numerous, lamina linear-oblong, ± 4 mm long, sheath ± 3 mm long, appressed. Capitula 20-25 diameter; involucral bracts narrow-oblong, obtuse to subacute, ascending to patent, sometimes with tuft of hairs at tip, widened at base, up to c.7 mm long. Ray florets numerous, elliptic-oblong, 3-5-toothed, up to 15 mm long, bearing a few appressed hairs. Disk-florets tubular-funnelform, up to ± 6 mm long. Achenes c.2 mm long, narrow-cylindric, ribs with sparse stiff hairs. Pappus-hairs white, up to 5.5 mm long, very finely barbellate.

Similar Taxa

Similar to Celmisia brevifolia from which it differs by its linear to lanceolate (rather than oblong to obovate-oblong) narrower leaves (up to 5 mm cf. 6-9 mm wide) with a narrowly obtuse, acute to acuminate leaf apex. The undersides of the leaves and the scapes of C. gibbsii are clad in scurfy scales.


October - January


December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Best raised from fresh seed and grown in an alpine house.


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