New Zealand sneezewort
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 = 20
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) – 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.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. 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. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic. New Zealand, Three Kings, North and South Islands.
Open damp ground, lake, tarn and river margins, ephemeral wetlands, and drains.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Annual to short-lived perennial prostrate herb forming circular patches 10-30 cm diameter. Stems trailing, prostrate, sparsely to moderately covered in cottony-hairs. Leaves yellow-green, obovate to spathulate in outline, 4-8(-12) mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, margins with 1-3 acute to blunt teeth, rarely entire. Inflorescence a single leaf-opposed, unstalked hemispherical, capitula (daisy-like structure), domed, 3-4(-7) mm diameter, female (outer) florets c.60-120 in 3-5 rows, bisexual flowers 8-16. Fruiting heads persistent. Cypselas (seeds) brown, club-shaped or narrowly cylindrical, 1.2-1.7 mm long, 4-angled with prominent ribs at each of the angles, smooth or finely scabrid in lower portion, glandular hairs sparse or absent, non-glandular hairs spreading or subappressed, confined to ribs.
Most likely to be confused with C. elatinoides (Less.) Benth. et Hook. and C. cunninghamii (DC.) A.Braun et Asch. Centipeda elatinoides differs by its hairless or slightly cob-webbed branchlets, shortly stalked capitula, and narrowly obovate cypselas with rounded apices. Centipeda cunninghamii differs by its erect growth form, leaves longer than 10 mm, and by possessing 20 or more bisexual florets in the capitula. C. aotearoana can be immediately distinguished by its hemispherical fruiting capitula.
Herbarium specimens and field notes indicate it may flower from mid summer through to autumn but plants may continue flowering into winter.
Herbarium specimens suggest that fruit is produced in late summer to autumn.
Cypselae dispersed by wind, attachment and granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from rooted pieces and fresh seed.
Centipeda aotearoana was described by Australian Botanist Neville Walsh in 2001. At the time of its description the comment was made that this species does not appear to be rare. Current indications are that C. aotearoana is probably a naturally sparse, opportunistic species.
centipeda: From the Greek word for one hundred feet
aotearoana: From the Maori name for New Zealand (although originally the name only referred to the North Island). Derived from the Maori ao ‘cloud, daytime, world’ and tea ‘white’ and roa ‘long’, usually translated as ‘land of the long white cloud’, a reference to the appearance of the island from the sea.
Notes on taxonomy
Collectively the four species now recognised from New Zealand were all regarded by Allan (1961) as C. orbicularis, a later synonym of C. minima. Webb et al. (1988) were the first to recognise C. minima and C. cunninghamii as present in New Zealand.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (5 May 2005). Description adapted from Walsh (2001).
References and further reading
Deverson, T., Kennedy G. 2005: The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press: Victoria.
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.
Walsh, N.G. 2001: A revision of Centipeda (Asteraceae). Muelleria 15: 33-64.
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (eds). 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Christchurch, Botany Division, D.S.I.R. 1365 pp.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Centipeda aotearoana Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/centipeda-aotearoana/ (Date website was queried)