Pleurophyllum speciosum


Pleurophyllum: From Greek pleuro- (rib, side) and phyllo- (leaf) components meaning 'ribbed-leaved'.

Common Name(s)

Great emperor 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


Pleurophyllum speciosum Hook.f.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites


None (first described in 1844)


Endemic. Auckland and Campbell Islands.


Coastal to montane herbfield


Radicals leaves 150-450 × 100-250 mm, appressed to ground or ascending, broadly obovate to subrhomboid, narrowed to broad base, coriaceous, margins remotely and indistinctly crenate to subentire, hydathodes hidden by tomentum; lateral veins ridged, almost as strong as midrib. 15-30; lamina loosely tomentose below, pilose on and near veins above and with nunmerous moniliform hairs on surface. Scapes stout, up to 1 m tall, tomentose above; lower leaves c.150 mm long, ± oblong, upper diminishing gradually to bracts. Capitula c.60 mm diameter including long ray-florets, c.25 in subcorymbose racemes; ray-florets pale purple to white, disk-florets purple. Involucral bracts ± clad in moniliform hairs, acute. Achenes densely strigose. Pappus-hairs not thickened above.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from Pleurophyllum criniferum by the coriaceous, sessile or sessile leaves with broad bases, and by the conspicuous ray-florets. Pleurophyllum hookeri differs from both P. criniferum and P. speciosum by having leaves with both sides covered with silvery appressed tomentum.


December – February

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


January – May

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild


A naturally uncommon endemic. Widespread within its island habitants. The subantarctic islands on which it occurs are Nature Reserves and World Heritage sites with access only by permit, and strictly limited as to numbers of people.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Description adapted from: Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand

This page last updated on 24 Oct 2019