Celmisia spectabilis subsp. magnifica
Cotton daisy, mountain daisy, shephards tobacco
Celmisia spectabilis var. magnifica Allan
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 = c.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: Big Ben Range and Acheron Valley just north of Rakaia River, south to the Hunters Hills and Mount Studholme.
Alpine and subalpine grassland and herbfield rocky sites
Woody-based herb forming mats or cushions 2.0 m diameter; with branchlets arising from a usually hidden simple or multicipital stock. Living leaves in rosettes at the tips of branchlets, the whole forming a cushion or mat. Leaf sheaths densely imbricate and compacted, forming a pseudostem. Leaf lamina 70-290 × 1-45 mm, (ratio of length to width 5.6-10); coriaceous, usually lanceolate-oblong to narrowly ovate; upper surface shining and sulcate: lower surface densely covered in soft felted pale buff tomentum, midrib distinct; tip acute; margins entire and recurved, occasionally minutely toothed, with the lamina base cuneate to cuneate-truncate; sheath green to purple. Petiole thin with evident veins. Scape densely clad in floccose white hairs, stout, up to 300 mm long, bracteate, monocephalous Corolla of disc florets and achenes often with uniseriate and biseriate hairs, mostly hairy, rarely glabrous. Ray florets 40-100, ligulate, white. Disc florets 60-200, 5-9 mm long, funneliform: tube glabrous or with scattered uniseriate or biseriate hairs. Achene fusiform cylindric, grooved, 1.5-6.5 mm long, usually sparsely covered in bifid hairs, rarely glabrous. Pappus hairs 5-9 mm long, barbellate.
Distinguished from Celmisia spectabilis subsp. spectabilis by the longer, broader leaves (70-290 × 1-45 mm cf. 30-180 × 3-30 mm in subsp. spectabilis), and cuneate to cuneate-truncate rather than angled leaf base. The achenes of subsp. sepctabilis are glabrous and those of subsp. magnifica mostly sparsely hairy. Celmisia spectabilis subsp. magnifica occurs to the south of the range of subsp. spectabilis from the Big Ben Range and Acheron Valley just north of Rakaia River, south to the Hunters Hills and Mount Studholme. From Celmisia spectabilis subsp. lanceolata, subsp. magnifica differs by its restriction to the South Island, and by its cuneate to cuneate-truncate rather than attenuate lamina base, and pale buff rather than almost white coloured tomentum. The leaf sheath of subsp. lanceolate is greenish rather than green to purple.
October - February
November - May
Easily grown from fresh seed. All three subspecies of Celmisia spectabilis are easily grown in most climates though they dislikes high humidity. They are best grown in a moist, free draining soil, within some afternoon shade.
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
magnifica: Meaning ‘splendid’
Where To Buy
Occasionaly available from specialist native plant nurseries
Description based on Given (1984)
References and further reading
Given, D.R. 1984: A taxonomic revision of Celmisia subgenus Pelliculatae section Petiolatae (Compositae—Astereae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 22: 139-158.