Celmisia thomsonii


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
thomsonii: after Thomson

Common Name(s)

Thomson's 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 - RR, Sp
2009 - OL


Celmisia thomsonii 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: Eyre Mountains


Subalpine to alpine. Confined to valley heads where it grows on shaded cliff faces in rock-crevices.


Stems rather stout, hard, closely branched; living leaves forming dense flat rosettes at tips of branchlets. Lamina ± 10-15 × 3-5 mm, obovate-to narrow-oblong, obtuse, sometimes apiculate, coriaceous; upper surface dull green, ± plicate, ± setulose; lower setulose, glabrous or with scattered hairs, sts forming a distinct pellicle, midrib distinct; margins minutely irregularly denticulate towards apex, cuneately narrowed into petiole c.3 mm long, then expanded into short sheath. Scape slender, glandular-pubescent, ± 40-70 mm long; bracts linear-oblong, up to 10 mm long. Capitula 15-20 mm. diameter; involucral bracts narrowly lanceolate to oblong, up to c.10 mm long. Ray-florets numerous, white or pink, slender, ± 15 mm long, with pilose tube and long linear limb; disk-florets funnelform, 5-6 mm long, teeth narrow-triangular. Achenes cylindric, 2.5-3.0 mm long, densely clad on strong ribs in long ascending silky hairs. Pappus-hairs white, up to c. 5 mm long, barbellate.

Similar Taxa

Most similar to the widespread Celmisia bellidioides from which it is easily distinguished by its dull rather glossy upper leaf surfaces and white to pink rather than uniformly white ray-florets. Celmisia thomsonii is ecologically distinct from C. bellidioides favouring very steep, fractured, shaded cliff faces, while C. bellidioides prefers wet rocky and gravelly places along gorges, near streamsides and in and around waterfalls.


November - January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


December - March

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably easy from fresh seed that has been cold treated. However, like many Celmisia probably difficult to maintain in warm or humid climates.


A Naturally Uncommon, narrow range endemic which though extremely localised is common in its few known localities and under no obvious human induced threats.

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 2 Jun 2014