Leptinella atrata subsp. luteola


Leptinella: From the Greek word leptos (meaning slender, thin or delicate), referring to the ovary
atrata: From the Greek ater 'black'
luteola: from the Latin luteo 'yellow', meaning 'pale yellow'

Common Name(s)

Yellow scree button 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


Leptinella atrata subsp. luteola (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites


Cotula atrata subsp. luteola D.G.Lloyd


Endemic. South Island from Eastern Marlborough to North Canterbury


Subalpine to alpine (> 1000 m a.s.l.) in open, mobile, sparsely vegetated screes.


Fleshy, monoecious, perennial herb producing 1 or more summer green leaf tufts amongst mobile scree. Rhizomes ascending, at or close to rock surface when young, becoming deeply buried with age, up to 10 mm long, thick, very fleshy, pale or pinkish-red, sparsely short-hairy, glabrate; branches often in clusters of up to 4 diverging from a flowering node and the nodes immediately behind, most of these dying in the first season, leaves usually crowded around rhizome apex, sometimes up to 25 mm apart. Roots numerous, fleshy, very long, extensively branching, thick up to 2 mm diameter. leaves 2-pinnatifid, 20-80 x 5-13 mm; blade 15-60 mm long, obovate, coriaceous and fleshy, grey-green tinged with red, especially on the primary and secondary axes, sparsely pilose hairy, midrib not raised on ventral surface; pinnae 5-10 pairs, cut to rhachis, distal ones close-set, broadly elliptic and divided, reducing to distant oblong simple proximal pinnae; secondary pinnae 0-5 per pinna, equally on distal and proximal sides, cut to midrib of pinna, triangular to oblong flat or scarcely upturned, with rounded apices, flat or upturned, occasionally with 1-2 small lobes on either side. Peduncles scarcely longer than leaves, 30-120 mm, stout, fleshy, pilose hairy with 4-10 evenly spaced bracts; simple, oblong or with 1-3 lobes on either side. Capitula 5-13 mm diameter, surface paraboloid (steeply convex); involucre flat; involucral bracts unequally 2-3-seriate, overtopped by mature florets, grey-green tinged pink or red, more or less pilose hairy, outer bracts exceeding florets, thick, simple, oblong, margin entire, gradually changing to thinner, simple obovate inner involucral bracts whose margins are finely scarious, receptacle conical; pistillate florets 100-240 in several rows, 3.25-3.75 mm long, straight, yellow; corolla 5 times as long as wide, teeth reddish brown conspicuous, equal and diverging; staminate florets equal in number. Stigmas clearly exserted, not retracting after anthesis. Cypsela 1.8-2.8 x 0.8-1 mm, slightly compressed, pale brown or dark brown, deeply wrinked when mature

Similar Taxa

Differs from L. atrata (Hook.f.) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb subsp. atrata by the yellow rather than dark red almost black flowers, leaves whose distal pinnae are not overlapping and whose secondary pinnae are flat rather than upturned. Differs from L. dendyi (Cockayne) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb by the smaller capitula (up to 12 cf 20 mm), dark red to almost black rather than yellow with red-tipped florets, paraboloid rather than flat receptacle, and monoecious rather than gynodioecious flowers.


November - January

Flower Colours



January - April

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild.


Apparently a very localised,narrow-range endemic known from only a few locations. No evidence of decline has been reported.

Chromosome No.

2n = 52

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 31 August 2006. Description from Lloyd (1972) - as Cotula atrata subsp. luteola

References and further reading

Lloyd, D.G. 1972: A revision of the New Zealand, Subantarctic, and South American species of Cotula, section Leptinella. New Zealand Journal of Botany 10: 277-372.

This page last updated on 17 Apr 2014