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 conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. South Island: From southern Marlborough and North Canterbury south to northern Southland.
Montane to subalpine. Inhabiting grassland, herbfield, fell-field and open subalpine shrubland.
Tufted herb with stout woody simple or sparingly branched stock; leaf-sheaths densely imbricating, forming a pseudo-stem. Lamina coriaceous, narrow- to narrowly obovate-oblong, ± 60-150 × 15-40 mm, obtuse or subacute; upper surface glabrous or nearly so; lower densely clad in appressed white satiny tomentum; both with evident midrib; margins very slightly recurved, bluntly (sometimes apiculately) crenate-sinuate, narrowed to petiole of diverse dimensions; sheath strongly ribbed, glabrous or very nearly so, c.50 × 10 mm. Scape ± 150-400 mm long, glabrous, glandular-viscid, purplish, stout; bracts linear, lamina ± 25-40 mm long, apiculate, clad below in white satiny tomentum. Capitula 25-40 mm diameter; involucral bracts numerous, linear-subulate, glabrous, viscid, up to c.15 mm long, apex hairy. Ray-florets c.15-20 mm long, narrow; disk-florets 7-8 mm long, funnelform, teeth narrow-triangular, c.1 mm long. Achenes compressed-cylindric, c.6 mm long, strongly grooved, with appressed silky hairs on ribs. Pappus-hairs slender, up to c. 6 mm long, white to sordid-white, barbellate.
Allan (1961) aligned this species with Celmisia parva, from which he distinguished it by the larger leaves (60-150 x 15-40 mm cf. < 60 x15 mm in C. parva) which are conspicuously rather than minutely toothed. However, the late A.P. Druce regarded C. densiflora and C. prorepens as the same species. Further study into the status of this species pair, as indeed the taxonomic status of all Celmisia is urgently needed.
November - January
December - April
Easily grown in a shaded site, planted within a permanently moist, free draining, acidic soil. Dislikes humidity and will not tolerate drying out. Best grown from fresh seed which should be sown immediately or stratified in a fridge or freezer for 1-3 months.
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
densiflora: Densely flowered
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Description adapted from Allan (1961)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Volume I. Government Printer, Wellington.