Leptinella traillii subsp. traillii
Traills Button Daisy
Cotula traillii Kirk, C. traillii subsp. traillii (Kirk) 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 = 312
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, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: IE
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. Stewart and adjacent Islands.
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, coriaceous, thick, glandular punctate, dark green, with dark brown pigmentation of all or only the proximal pinnae, sparsely villous; midrib slightly riased on proximal part of ventral surface; pinnae 4-10 pairs, equidistant, not overlapping, cut to rhachis, broadly obovate to suborbicular, width almost equal to length; teeth closely spaced, up to 12 per pinna, confined to distal and outer margins, cut 1/6-1/2 across pinna, narrowly triangular, 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 subsp. pulchella (Kirk) D.G.Lloyd et C.Webb is rather similar but it is endemic to the Southland coastline and has distinctly less leathery, thinner less obviously glandular punctate leaves, and the pinna teeth are much coarser (larger) and widely spaced.
August - October
September to January
Papery cypselae are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
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
Where To Buy
Occasionally sold by specialist native plant nurseries. Often as L. dioica or L. squalid.
One of the main contributing species to the so called “Maniototo” bowling green turf (see under L. 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. traillii.
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 traillii subsp. traillii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/leptinella-traillii-subsp-traillii/ (Date website was queried)