Cotula calcarea D.G.Lloyd
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs - 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 = 104
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: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island, north-west Nelson from Cape Farewell south to Kahurangi Point.
Coastal, on consolidated sand dunes, calcreous mudstones, limestones and conglomerate rock. A turf forming species occupying sites with minimal vegetation cover.
Dioecious, perennial, tufted herb forming loose to compact mats. Rhizomes buried, pale, wiry and glabrous; branches uncommon, usually single at flowering nodes; leaves spirally arranged, 3-8 in clusters on short shoots covered in reduced scales, these set 5-20 mm apart. Roots slender and weak, up to 0.5 mm diameter. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 10-40 x 3-6 mm, blade 10-40 mm, oblong to elliptic, thick, fleshy, and rigidly stiff, yellow-green (sometimes grey-green), usually moderately to densely covered in long woolly hairs, midrib prominently raised along ventral surface; pinnae 12-20 pairs, close-set and overlapping, cut to rhachis, broadly elliptic; teeth on pinnae closet-set, narrowly triangular, obtuse. Peduncle borne on short shoots, equal to leaves in length, 10-40 mm, ebracteate or with 1 bract, villous hairy. Pistillate capitula 3-5 mm diameter, widening to 10 mm in fruit; surface convex; involucre ureceolate; involcural bracts 20-40, usually unequally triseriate, broadly elliptic, green, villous, with a broad, scarious, brown-tipped margin; inner involucral bracts elongating after anthesis to enclose fruiting head; at maturity involcural bracts partialyl reflexing to expose fruit; florets 25-120, 2 mm long, curved, yellow-green; corolla more or less longer than wide, unequally toothed. Staminate heads 4-6 mm diameter; involucre hemispherical; involucral bracts 8-15 in 1-2-seriate, subequal rows; florets numerous. Cypsela 1.6 x 0.8 mm, brown, slightly compressed, initially pale, covered in a chartaceous membrane, maturity smooth.
Perhaps closest to L. pusilla Hook.f. from which it is allopatric. L. pusilla, L. calcarea, L. intermedia (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb and L. serrulata (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb all possess deeply buried, pale and wiry, rhizomes bearing few or no leaves. Their short-shoots grow up from the rhizomes, and they usually have densely hairy leaves. L. calcarea differs from the other three species by its distinctly subfleshy to fleshy, stiffly rigid leaves which lack any brown pigmetation. From L. pusilla it differs by its rigid, densely hairy, rather than glabrous to hairy, fleshy yellow-green to grey-green, rather than purple-green to brown-green membranous leaves, bearing closely-set rather than widely separated, overlapping pinnae.
August - November
September - January
Papery cypselae are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown by division of whole plants. Fresh seed probably germinates easily but it is rarely available as most cultivated material is of a single sex-type, so seed is not formed. Does well in a free draining, fertile soil in full sun. An excelelnt rock garden plant.
A naturally uncommon, range restricted species which appears to be locally common within its only known habitats. There is no evidence that it has declined but most populations are rather small and coudl be at risk if current land use management practices in the area it occupies change
leptinella: From the Greek word leptos (meaning slender, thin or delicate), referring to the ovary
calcarea: From the Latin calx ‘limestone’, meaning growing on limestone
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 31 August 2006. Description from Lloyd (1972) - as Cotula calcarea.
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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Leptinella calcarea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/leptinella-calcarea/ (Date website was queried)