Gnaphalium paludosum var. polylepis Drury, Gnaphalium polylepis (Drury) C.Webb
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 = 28
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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, PD, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic to New Zealand. Mostly montane in the North Island (Central Volcanic Plateau and Mt Taranaki/Egmont) and on coast of North Island near Manaia, Whanganui and eastern Wairarapa; throughout the South Island, though seemingly rare in Westland.
Lowland to subalpine in damp places, especially stream sides and damp hollows in grassland, cliffs and rocky laces.
Stoloniferous, perennial daisy. Stems 1-2, ascending, 1-6 cm tall. Leaves mostly basal, these elliptic to narrow-obovate, apex often rounded to acute with a small sharp projecting tip (mucronate), 5-15 (-30) × (1-)4(-5) mm, densely white-tomentose on the under sides except the mid vein, upper sides olive green to grey-green usually hairless. Upper stem leaves 1-3(-5), scale-like, ovate-triangular, almost clasping around stem (amplexicaul). Flower heads (capitula) 1-2 mm diameter, solitary, buried amongst foliage when flowering, exceeding leaves when fruiting. Involucral bracts elliptic-oblong, obtuse, 3.2-4(-4.5) mm long, central portion green, apex often tinged reddish-purple at apex, margins pale to mid-brown, with darker markings at base. Achenes (seeds) 0.7-1 mm, sparsely papillate (with round projections).
Morphologically E. polylepis is only likely to be confused with E. paludosus. That species differs from E. polylepis by its usually folded, moderately tomentose upper leaf surfaces. The leaves are 0.5-2(-5) mm broad and are not mucronate. In E. paludosus the involucral bracts are 3.2-4(-4.5) mm long, and perfect flowers number 1-3(-5) rather than the (2-)4(-7) seen in E. polylepis. The two species are often sympatric but E. polylepis is the only one known to also grow in lowland habitats.
November - February
December to April
Pappate cypselae are dispersed by wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from seed and rooted pieces of stem.
Described by Drury (1972), and believed to be uncommon. Although it would seem unlikely to be seriously threatened the exact status of this species, perhaps because it is so small and easily over-looked, is uncertain and it would be vulnerable to competition from taller weeds.
euchiton: From the Greek eu (good) and chiton (tunic or covering)
polylepis: With many scales
Amended distribution, including Westland. C C Ogle
References and further reading
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