Leptinella minor


Leptinella: From the Greek word leptos (meaning slender, thin or delicate), referring to the ovary
minor: smaller

Common Name(s)

Banks Peninsula 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 - OL


Leptinella minor Hook.f.



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


Cotula haastii Kirk, Cotula minor (Hook.f.) Hook.f.


Endemic. South Island, Banks Peninsula - however historic herbarium specimens show it was once on the Canterbury Plains


Sea level to 600 m a.s.l., on rock outcrops and associated open, rubbly skeletal soils. Usually found in sites within little surrounding vegetation. Sometimes in open grassland.


Monoecious, creeping perennial herb forming open or diffuse patches. Rhizomes at soil surface, slender to stout 0.5-2 mm diameter; early season branches clustered, with up to 5 radiating from around a flowering node; branches produced later in season usually single at flowering nodes. Leaves 3-10, usually clustered but in vigorous growth spaced up to 20 mm apart. Short shoots absent or with 1-few small leaves. roots 0.5-1 mm diameter, thick, coriaceous. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 10-50 x 3-10 mm; blade 3-40 mm, dull green usually with much brown pigment on proximal pinnae, obovate, coriaceous, more or less glabrous; pinnae 5-12 pairs, not overlapping, cut to rhachis, obovate, teeth 0-7 pe rpinna, usually restricted to proximal pinnae, on distal margins, cut 1/2-2/3 across pinna, oblong, obtuse and minutely mucronate. Peduncles borne on rhizomes, equal or longer than leaves, slender, 20-50 mm long, ebracteate or with 1 bract, pilose hairy. Capitula 4-6 mm diameter; surface convex, involucre outspread; involucral bracts 15-20, equally biseriate, suborbicular, pilose hairy, with a wide brown scarious margin; pistillate florets 70-130, 2- or more seriate, 1.75 mm long, straight, white; corolla longer than wide, teeth equal; staminate florets equal in number. Cypsela 1 x 0.5 mm, pale brown when mature, slightly compressed, transversely wrinkled.

Similar Taxa

Leptinella minor is very closely allied to L. filiformis (Hook.f.) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb and L. nana (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb, the three in fact forming a distinct clade using nrDNA ITS sequences. From L. nana, L. minor is readily distinguished by its taller stature, dull green leaves and white capitula. It is however, extremely close to L. filiformis, from which it differs by its larger more robust habit, thicker rhizomes (2 cf. < 1 mm diameter), larger and longer leaves (10-50 cf 5-20 mm long), bearing more numerous teeth (especially on the proximal pinnae) and larger capitula (4-6 cf 2-3 mm diameter).


September - July

Flower Colours



September - August

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from the division of established plants and from fresh seed. This is an attractive, long flowering species which makes an excellent rock garden plant. It flourishes best in a sunny situation when planted in a free draining, fertile soil. Dislikes humidity.


A naturally uncommon, range restricted species which can be locally abundant on parts of Banks Peninsula. It is possible that some populations have declined due to the spread of introduced weeds (especially grasses) but there is no documentation to demonstrate this.

Chromosome No.

2n = 52

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Papery cypselae are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.



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

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.

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 5 Jun 2015