Celmisia markii


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)

Marks Celmisia

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
2009 - RR


Celmisia markii Given et W.R.Lee



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 south of Haast River to Mount Paulina, Caswell Sound. Also Mt Aspiring National Park.


Alpine. On sparsely vegetated ground, fell field and in tussock grassland. Not known from ultramafic rocks.


Woody-based perennial herb arising fom multicipital stock and forming somewhat flattened hemispherical cushions up to 80 cm diameter. Leaf lamina linear, rigid, straight; current seasons leaves erect, those of previous season becoming reflexed; 50.0-100.0 × 1.0—2.5 mm; upper surface with a median groove, yellowish green, clad in a persistent pellicle which becomes grey-green on older leaves; lower surface clad in white appressed tomentum; margins entire, strongly recurved to midrib; tip acute but not markedly acicular. Leaf sheath up to 50 mm long, membranous, purplish, covered with a thin pellicle. Scape 80-150 × 2-3 mm; bracts few, up to 25 mm long, glabrate, yellowish- green. Involucral bracts erect, linear-subulate, acute, up to 15 mm long, glabrate, tawny brown, venation simple. Receptacle obconic, surface alveolate. Ray florets up to 15 mm long, limb narrow, linear-lanceolate and glabrous, tube narrow and glabrous. In disc florets, corolla tube gradually narrowed from apex to base, glabrous; stamen tip acute, anther tails short; style bifid, arms differentiated into a lower parallel-sided papillose portion shorter than the triangular appendage which bears short collecting hairs. Pappus bristles unequal, c.25 in number, 3.5-5.0 mm long with closely spaced, short teeth. Achenes 3-3.5 mm long, fusiform, ribbed and clad in short bifid hairs.

Similar Taxa

Could be confused with Celmisia spedenii which is an ultramafic species found on the Livingston Range and at West Dome. It differs from C. markii by its usually curved rather than straight leaves, with acicular rather than rounded leaf tips. The involucral bracts of C. markii are glabrate, tawny-brown while those of C. spedenii are silver-grey and tomentose


December - February

Flower Colours



December - February

Propagation Technique



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 from: Lee and Given (1984)

References and further reading

Lee, W.G.; Given, D.R. 1984: Celmisia spedenii G. Simpson, an ultramafic endemic, and Celmisia markii, sp. nov., from southern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 22: 585–592.

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