Celmisia philocremna


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)

Eyre Mountains 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 philocremna Given



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


None (described in 1971)


Endemic. South Island: Eyre Mountains (Eyre Creek)


Confined to crevices and ledges on steep rock bluffs and ridges. In these sites it grows with Celmisia ramulosa, Helichrysum intermedium, Celmisia densiflora, Raoulia buchananii and Hebe biggarii.


Subshrub with stout branchlets arising from a multicipital stock and forming an approximately hemispherical cushion up to 700 mm diameter. Branchlets stout, up to 4 mm diameter, dark, emitting cord-like roots. Living leaves imbricating and distributed along the upper part of branchlets. Lamina 15-25 × 3-5 mm, linear-oblong, widened slightly near the base, subobtuse at tip, margin strongly revolute; upper surface studded with short stalked glandular hairs, lower surface densely clad in felted white tomentum of crisped hairs. Sheath merging imperceptibly with lamina, membranous, densely tomentose on outer surface, glabrous on inner. Scape 50-80 × 2-3 mm, densely tomentose with long lustrous white hairs; bracts several, linear, tomentose to glabrate. Receptacle campanulate, 10-15 mm diameter. Involucral bracts in several series, imbricate, up to 12 mm long, subulate, acute, not recurved, both uniseriate and biseriate hairs present, margins densely fimbriate. Ray florets up to 25 mm long, limb wide and sparsely hairy, tube more so. In disc florets, corolla narrow funneliform, with both uniseriate and oblong biseriate eglandular hairs; stamen tip acute and noticeably elongated, anther tails sagittate; style bifid, the arms differentiated into a lower parallel-sided papillose portion and an upper long-triangular portion bearing long collecting hairs. Pappus bristles unequal, up to 6 mm long, c.25 in number, teeth short. Achene 4-5 X 0.8 mm, compressed, densely clad in long bifid hairs.

Similar Taxa

A very distinctive species that is not easily confused with any other member of the genus. The tight cushion habit, excessively tomentose scapes and involucral bracts are especially diagnostic


November - February

Flower Colours



December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Can be grown from fresh seed but requires a free draining, moist soil. Best in shade or in an alpine house kept within a pot.


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

Occasionaly available from specialist native plant nurseries.


Description from Given (1971)

References and further reading

Given, D.R. 1971: Two New Species of Celmisia Cass. (Compositae-Astereae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 9: 526-532

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 2 Jun 2014