Celmisia lindsayi


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)

Lindsay's 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 - RR, Sp


Celmisia lindsayi Hook. f.



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: From the mouth of the Clutha River to Waikaia.


Coastal rocks, on exposed or sheltered but usually south-facing and shaded rock stacks, tors and cliff faces.


Robust subshrub, low-growing, forming patches up to c.2 m. diameter; stems very stout, branched, up to c.15 mm diameter; branches creeping or ascending, clad in long-persistent reflexed leaves; living leaves in approximate rosulate tufts at ends of branchlets. Lamina coriac., viscid, narrow-oblong to sublanceolate or elliptic, ± 100-150 × 15-25 mm; upper surface without tomentum, lower densely clad in appressed white satiny tomentum, midrib dark, stout, prominent; apex obtuse to subacute; margins sinuate, slightly thickened, entire to remotely denticulate, narrowed to petiole ± 2.5-3.0 × 1•5-2.5 mm. Sheath c.30 × 10 mm, glabrous, coriaceous; nerves parallel, usually prominent. Scape 50-200 mm, slender, flexuous, very sparingly hairy; lower bracts leaf-like, up to c.30 mm long, upper linear. Capitula 25-50 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear, up to 12 mm. long, subfloccose in apical half, midrib distinct. Ray-florets linear, c.12-15 mm long; disk-florets numerous, tubular, c.6-8 mm. long, teeth broad-triangular. Achenes narrow-cylindric, ± compressed, 3-4 mm long; ribs prominent, rather densely clad in short ascending hairs. Pappus-hairs white, becoming ± rufous, up to 6-7 mm long, barbellate

Similar Taxa

Closely related to Celmisia bonplandii, an alpine species which is regarded by many botanists as conspecific with C. lindsayi. Pending further investigation both species are maintained as distinct here. Celmisia bonplandii differs from C. lindsayi by its restriction to subalpine and alpine habitats, smaller, wider leaves (40-100 x 15-30 mm cf. 100-150 x 15-25 mm in C. lindsayi); longer, stouter, glabrescent scapes (150-300mm cf. 50-200 mm in C. lindsayi), and mostly shorter achenes (2.5-3.0 mm cf. 3.0-4.0 mm in C. lindsayi).


October - March

Flower Colours



November - May

Propagation Technique

Best grown from fresh seed. Can be grown by dividing established plants. Does best in a shaded site planted within a permanently moist, free draining soil. More easily grown in the southern part of New Zealand


A Naturally Uncommon, narrow range endemic which is locally common in its few known localities. Some accessible populations have been plundered by plant collectors. However, most populations are in remote areas or extremely inaccessible.

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

This page last updated on 31 May 2014