Celmisia semicordata subsp. aurigans
large mountain daisy
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledonous composites
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: Central and eastern Otago and Southland (Maungatua, Old Man Range, Skippers, Garvie Mountains).
Montane to alpine. In depleted tussock grasslands and occasionally in herbfield and fellfield
Stout woody-based herb with branchlets arising from a multicipital stock, usually hidden; living leaves in large rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole plant forming an irregular sward-like patch; leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudo-stem. Leaf lamina 110-420 × 20-70 mm, more or less coriaceous, at first erect but soon becoming patent, lanceolate to oblong-ovate; upper surface regularly sulcate, margin recurved, ± concolorous, masked by an obvious golden pellicle sometimes fading to leaden in old leaves; lower surface densely covered in glistening appressed tomentum, midrib prominent; tip acute; margins entire, flat or moderately recurved; base more or less cuneate, occasionally abruptly narrowed to the petiole. Petiole short. Sheath up to 120 × 0 mm, greenish or slightly purplish, clad in floccose white hairs. Scape densely clad in floccose white hairs, stout, up to 450 mm long; bracts ± foliaceous, prominent, erect, up to 150 mm long, margins revolute; usually monocephalous but occasionally with several capitula especially in cultivated specimens. Ray florets 200-250, ligulate, the limb narrow-linear, white. Disc florets 400-450, 8-9 mm long, funneliform, yellow, tube with long eglandular biseriate hairs in lower half. Achene fusiform, strongly grooved, 6-7 mm long, glabrous. Pappus unequal, 6 mm long, of c.40 barbellate bristles.
Celmisia semicordata subsp. aurigens differs from subsp. semicordata and subsp. stricta by the golden rather than distinctly silver or greenish bronze pellicle
October - February
November - July
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
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries
Description from Given (1980)
References and further reading
Given, D.R. 1980: A taxonomic revision of Celmisia coriacea (Forst.f.) Hook.f. and its immediate allies (Astereae-Compositae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 18: 127-140.