South Island edelweiss
Gnaphalium grandiceps Hook.f., Helichrysum grandiceps (Hook.f.) Kirk
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: South and Stewart Islands
Subalpine to alpine. On rock outcrops, cliff faces, boulders within moraines, fell field and other rock strewn ground, either in the open, amongst cushion plants or in light scrub.
Perennial tomentose herb. Stock rather stout, woody; stems decumbent, woody at base, branches ascending; basal leaves not in subrosettes. Leaves densely to somewhat laxly imbricate, spreading, sometimes recurved, 5-10 × 2-4 mm, often apiculate, 3-5-nerved at base, obovate-cuneate, clad on both surfaces in appressed white to pale buff hairs. Peduncles hardly differentiated from branchlets. Capitula 5-15, congested into dense glomerules 9-15 mm diameter, subtended by up to 15 densely woolly leaves up to 10 mm long, forming a distinct white ray. Involucral bracts linear, acute, c.5 mm long, scarious with basal stiffening. Achenes c.1 mm. long, pappus-hairs 3-4 mm long
Distinguished from Leucogenes leontopodium (Hook.f.) Beauverd by the more widely creeping growth habit; by the basal leaves not crowded into sub-rosettes; by the smaller leaves (5-10 cf. 8-20 mm long) with obtuse (rarely apiculate) rather than acute to subacute leaf apices; and by the leaves of the ray rarely > 10 mm long. Distinguished from L. neglecta Molloy and L. tarahaoa Molloy by its diploid (2n = 28), rather than tetraploid (2n = 56, L. neglecta) or octoploid (2n = 112) chromosome number. Leucogenes neglecta further differs from L. grandiceps by its long thin stems, narrowly elliptic acute leaves and floral bracts, and uniform silvery-blue colour, while L. tarahaoa differs by its compact, cushion forming habit, and silvery white leaves.
November - March
January - April
Pappate cypselae are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from cuttings and fresh seed. Excellent in a pot within an alpine house, and in non-humid climates can be grown in rock gardens. Provided the root stock is kept cool can be grown in most lowland situations.
leucogenes: White genus
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.
Description modified from Allan (1961)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington
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