Cotula sericea (Kirk) Cockayne et Allan, Cotula albida D.G.Lloyd,
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 = 52
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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island, Central Otago Mountains (Old Man Range, Mt Cardrona and Mount Pisa (Pisa Range))
Alpine (> 1600 m a.s.l.) in fell field, rubble, and rockland.
Monoecious, creeping, perennial herb forming compact mats up to 1 m wide, all parts densely covered in long silky, white-silver or grey-silvery hairs. Rhizomes densely intertwinned, more or less horizontal on soil surface or ascending and tightly packed, very hairy; branches usually in clusters of up to 4 radiating from around a flowering node; leaves clustered near stem apex, usually crowded, rarely up to 8 mm apart, short shoots absent. Roots stout up to 0.5 mm diameter. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 4-10 x 2-3 mm; blade coriaceous, dark green though obscured by dense covering of woolly hairs; pinnae 4-8 pairs, close set and obscured by hairs, cut to rhachis, obovate, obtuse, edentate. Peduncles longer than leaves; 10-20 mm, ebracteate, densely floccose, woolly. Capitula 3-10 mm diameter; surface convex; involucre subcampanulate; involucral bracts 20, subequally biseriate, oblong, grey-green, densely floccose, woolly hairy, with wide brown scarious margins; pistillate florets 20, subequally biseriate, 2.75 mm long, straight, pale yellow or yellow-red; corolla 3 times as long as wide, teeth equal; staminate florets numerous. Cypsela 1.6-0.6 mm, golden-brown, compressed, biconvex, slightly wrinkled.
Closely allied to L. pectinata (Hook.f.) D.G.Lloyd et C.J.Webb, especially subsp. villosa (G.Simpson) D.G.Lloyd et C.J.Webb. From this subspecies L. albida cannot always be reliably distinguished, morphologically it typically differs by its tight, mat forming habit, silvery foliage, with all parts except the florets densely covered in floccose, woolly, silvery-white hairs. Nevertheless intermediates occur. Cytologically L. albida is diploid (2n = 52) and subsp. villosa tetraploid (2n = 104) but even there distinctions fall apart because in some sites plants with the morphology of L. albida have 2n = 104 whilst at others plants matching L. pectinata subsp. villosa have been found with chromosome numbers of 2n = 52.
October - January
December - April
Papery cypselae are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from rooted pieces. However, prefers non-humid climates and dislikes excessive moisture.
A local, range restricted endemic abundant within its few known habitats.
leptinella: From the Greek word leptos (meaning slender, thin or delicate), referring to the ovary
albida: From the Latin ‘alba’, meaning somewhat white
The distinction of this species from L. pectinata subsp. villosa is not clear, intergrades are common, and cytological results conflicting. Further research is needed to ascertain its exact taxonomic status.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 31 August 2006. Description from Lloyd (1972) - as Cotula albida
References and further reading
Lloyd, D.G. 1972: A revision of the New Zealand, Subantarctic, and South American species of Cotula, section Leptinella. New Zealand Journal of Botany 10: 277-372.
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Leptinella albida Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/leptinella-albida/ (Date website was queried)