Celmisia polyvena


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
polyvena: many-veined (leaves)

Common Name(s)

Tin Range 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 - IE, RR


Celmisia polyvena G.Simpson et G.Thomson



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. Stewart Island: south of, and including Mt Rakeahua - mostly in the Tin Range


Lowland to subalpine in poorly draining grassland, tussockland, shrubland, mires and similar boggy ground and in seepages within rock crevices


Silvery-white to white solitary, clumped or extensive patch forming herb. Branches slender, variable, clad in persistent leaf-remnants; branchlets densely clad in imbricate, ascending, spreading to recurved leaves. Lamina variable 10-60 × 5-15 mm, narrow-linear, linear to lanceolate, subcoriaceous, upper and lower surfaces silvery-white, upper surface ribbed, pellicle persistent, underside with inrolled margin and raised purplish midrib. Scapes 100–150 mm long, purplish, slender, clothed with fine woolly tomentum; bracts numerous, linear-lanceolate, silvery tomentose, with broad, purplish sheathing bases. Heads 25 mm diameter; involucral bracts brownish, pubescent, spreading at the tips; ray florets white, obcuneate, rounded at the tip. Achenes 3 mm long, linear, pointed at the base, slightly widening towards the tip, silky.

Similar Taxa

On Stewart Island (where this species is endemic) it is mostly likely to be confused with plants attributed to C. graminifolia and C. alpina. From plants of the C. graminifolia aggregate it differs by the silvery-white mostly narrowly linear to linear, inrolled leaves (rather than mostly flat (or inrolled) leaves which are brownish to brown-green and often patterned above; and by the purplish rather than pale green or white scapes. From C. alpine, C. polyvena differs by the larger size, and broader, less inrolled, silvery-white rather than very narrow, tightly inrolled, brown or grey-green leaves, purple rather than pale scape, and much larger capitula. Celmisia polyvena is part of the C. gracilenta - C. graminifolia complex.


November - December

Flower Colours



February - April

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably easy from fresh seed, and plants are likely to require a shaded site, planted within a permanently moist soil.


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 based on limited herbarium material.

References and further reading

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