silver cushion mountain daisy
Celmisia sessiliflora var. minor Petrie
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledonous composites
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.
2n = 108
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. South Island: Otago and Southland from Garvie Mountains southwards
Montane to subalpine damp grassland and boggy places
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Densely branched subshrub forming small cushions or sometimes mats up to ± 200 × 200 mm, usually rather shorter; branches up to c. 150 mm long, woody ascending, stout, clad in persistent leaf-remnants; branchlets very close-set, ± 50 mm. long, erect or ascending. Leaves numerous, very densely imbricate, ascending. Lamina ± 6.0-12.0 × 0.5-1.5 mm, coriaceous, linear-subulate, clad on both surfaces in greyish white appressed tomentum, concavo-convex; apex subacute to acute, sometimes subcucullate. Sheath ± = lamina, rather broader, pale, membranous, clad in long silky hairs on margins and back, becoming glabrous or nearly so. Capitula sessile or nearly so, terminal, sunk among apical leaves, ± 6-12 mm diameter; involucral bracts linear-subulate, almost scarious, pale except at dark tip, up to c.10 mm long, glabrous except for a few hairs at tip, midvein distinct. Ray-florets 8-10 mm long, white; tube very slender, limb about lanceolate, 3-4-toothed, veins evident. Disk-florets c. 7 mm long, very narrow-funnelform, teeth minute, triangular. Achenes c.3 mm long, narrow-cyclindric, subcompressed, ribs clad in very short ascending hairs. Pappus-hairs up to 6 mm long, white, slender, very finely barbellate
Can only be confused with Celmisia clavata and C. sessiliflora. From Celmisia sessiliflora it is distinguished by its smaller size and much shorter leaves (3.0-5.0 × 0.5-1.5 mm cf. 10.0-30.0 × 1.5-3.0 mm). Celmisia clavata is distinguished from C. argentea by the semi-woody and densely leafy clavate branches, and by the erect, rigid, closely imbricating leaves with abruptly narrowed, obtuse apices. However, as noted under C. clavata there is much variation within C. argentea with plants from Central Otago grading between that species and plants called C. clavata on Stewart Island. Further research, perhaps using more discriminating DNA markers is needed to determine if C. clavata is truly distinct from C. argentea.
October - January
November - April
Pappate cypselae are dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult. Best grown from fresh seed but can be grown from cuttings. Should be planted in a free draining, moist soil. Excellent in a pot in an alpine house, or planted in a south-facing rockery. Dislikes humidity and will not tolerate drying out.
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
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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309