white cushion mountain daisy
Celmisia sessiliflora var. exigua G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson; Celmisia sessiliflora var. pedunculata Kirk
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: Widespread from Nelson south to Southland
Montane to alpine. In grassland, herbfield and fellfield. Sometimes on rock outcrops
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).
FACU: Facultative Upland
Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands (non-wetlands).
Robust densely branched subshrub forming dense patches up to c.1 m diameter and up to 100 mm tall; branchlets close-set, densely clad in imbricate leaves forming compacted rosettes. Leaves erect, becoming reflexed, sheaths persistent. Lamina 10.0-30.0 × 1•5-3.0 mm, linear to linear-subulate, coriaceous, rather rigid; both surfaces densely clad in short appressed white matted hairs; apex obtuse to sub-acute, sometimes subcucullate or apiculate; slightly narrowed at base to pale membranous sheath ± = lamina, ± clad in deciduous matted hairs. Scape reduced to minute stalk densely clad in floccose hairs, sometimes elongating to c.50 mm at fruiting stage and then hairs sparse or absent, ebracteate. Capitula 10-20 mm diameter or more, at first at least closely subtended by leaves; involucral bracts pale, slender, linear-subulate, up to 12 mm long, ± scarious, pilose (with hairs long-persistent at apex). Ray-florets c.15-17 mm long, white; linear, slightly expanded at tips; disk-florets c. 8 mm long, narrow-funnelform, flaring at 5-toothed apex. Achenes 3-4 mm long, cylindric-compressed; hairs on rather obscure ribs short, rather stiff. Pappus usually white; hairs up to 9 mm long, minutely barbellate
Can only be confused with Celmisia argentea. Celmisia argentea is confined to Otago and Southland. It is mainly 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).
October - February
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
sessiliflora: With unstalked flowers
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 11: 285-309