Damnamenia vernicosa


vernicosa: Varnished

Common Name(s)


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


Damnamenia vernicosa (Hook f.) D.R.Given



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


Celmisia vernicosa Hook.f.


Endemic. New Zealand: Auckland and Campbell Islands.


A species of mostly upland cushion bogs and Pleurophyllum Hook.f. dominated meadows. Also grows at low altitudes in exposed, inhospitable, sparsely vegetated sites.


Stoloniferous herb with thick woody multicipital basal stock. Living leaves densely imbricating and forming rosettes at tips of branchlets and sometimes at ends of leafy stolons. Leaves glossy as though varnished, glabrous; venation simple with lateral veins of sheath not extending into the lamina. Ptyxis plain. Inflorescence scapose and monocephalous. Receptacle obconic; phyllaries in several series, bearing eglandular uniseriate hairs only. Ray florets ligulate, female, white, occasionally pale rose especially near tips, limb and tube clad in scattered hairs. Disc florets tubular, pefect, purple or occasionally yellow, cyathiform above point of insertion of stamen filaments and usually cylindrical below, although occasionally gradually narrowing towards corolla base; corolla hairs eglandular biseriate and uniseriate; stamen tip usually obtuse or if acute then short, anther tails present but shorter than the basally narrowed filament collar; style arms short, terminal appendage broadly triangular and bearing long collecting hairs on back and margin. Pappus bristles unequal, in more than one series, plumose with long crowded teeth. Achene obconic, clad in duplex hairs.

Similar Taxa



November - January

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December - March

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild


A Naturally Uncommon, range-restricted endemic, abundant and under no obvious threats within its known sites. Both Auckland and Campbell Island are Nature Reserves and World Heritage Sites administered by the New Zealand Department of Conservation who exercises strict controls on landings to these islands.

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 from Given (1973).

References and further reading

Given, D.R. 1973. Damnamenia gen. nov. A New Subantarctic Genus Allied to Celmisia Cass. (Astereae-Compositae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 11: 785-796.

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 23 Jul 2014