Leptinella traillii subsp. pulchella
Cotula pulchella Kirk, Cotula dioica var. pulchella (Kirk) Cheeseman, C. traillii subsp. pulchella (Kirk) 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.
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.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island, Southland, northern side of the Foveaux Strait.
Coastal, usually on seepages on cliff faces, amongst boulders or on cobble beaches. Sometimes in damp hollows or along stream sides draining sand dunes.
Dioecious, creeping, perennial herb forming a open to loosely mmated turf. Rhizomes at or near soil surface, green, dark green to brown, pliant, villously hairy; branches uncommon, usually single at flowering nodes; leaves in two rows, single at apex, 5-20 mm apart. Short shoots alternate on both sides of rhizome, bearing up to 6 clustered leaves, rarely converted into rhizomes with distant leaves. Roots slender, weak, white up to 0.6 mm diameter. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 10-50 x 4-10 mm; lamina 10-40 mm, obovate, firmly fleshy (rarely weakly coriaceous), scarcely glandular punctate, dark green, with basal pinnae pigmented dark brown, sparsely villous; midrib slightly riased on proximal part of ventral surface; pinnae 4-10 pairs, equidistant, not overlapping, cut to rhachis, oblong to broadly ovate (width less than length); with 4(-10) rather coarse and widely spaced, broadly triangular teeth per pinna, these confined to outer margin or rarely extending onto distal margin, cut 1/6-1/2 across pinna, acuminate with a sharp pale, often deciduous point, more or less obscured by a tuft or parallel hairs. Peduncles usually on rhizomes, about equal to leaves in length, 10-40 mm, ebracteate or with one simple bract, pilose-hairy. Pistillate capitula 3-5 mm diameter, up to 10 mm in fruit; surface convex; involucre urecolate; involucral bracts 15-20, unequally triseriate, broadly elliptic, green, more or less villous, with a broad hyaline - brown-tipped scarious margin; inner involucral bracts elongating after anthesis to enclose the subglobose fruiting head; florets 20-70, 2-5 mm long, curved, yellow-green; corolla slightly longer than wide, unequally toothed. Staminate heads 4-6 mm diameter, involucre hemispherical; involucral bracts 5-10 in 1-2 subequal rows, not extending after anthesis; florest generally more numerous. Cypsela up to 1.9 x 1 mm, brown, somewhat compressed, at first chartaceous becoming smooth at maturity.
Leptinella traillii (Kirk) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb subsp. trailli is rather similar but it is endemic to the Stewart Island coastline and has distinctly leathery, firmer and thicke, glandular punctate leaves, and the pinna teeth are finer and smaller and evenly spaced.
August - October
September - January
Easy from rooted pieces, once established very tolerant of trampling and drought but prefers a damp root run
Not considered threatened. A narrow range endemic.
leptinella: From the Greek word leptos (meaning slender, thin or delicate), referring to the ovary
traillii: After Charles Trail, Stewart Islander
pulchella: Pretty little thing
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries. Often sold as L. squalida or L. dioica.
One of the main contributing species to the so called “Maniototo” bowling green turfs (see Leptinella maniototo (Petrie) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 31 August 2006. Description from Lloyd (1972) - as Cotula traillii subsp. pulchella.
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.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Leptinella traillii subsp. pulchella Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/leptinella-traillii-subsp-pulchella/ (Date website was queried)