Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than 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 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.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
2012 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
2004 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Endemic. South Island, where it is apparently confined to the Pisa and Dunstan Ranges, Central Otago.
Alpine. Mainly found in cushionfield. It has been recorded once from a snow bank.
Perennial herb forming diffuse to semi-compact cushions 20-50 x 15-30 mm. Branches rooting freely from old leaf bases. Stems leafy, erect, branching several times. Leaves 12 x 5 mm, elliptic, sub acute, petiole of similar length, broad; leaf hairs stiff, appressed, imbricating on upper surface, on undersurface sparse; hairs on petiole forming a long fringe. Lateral branches immersed in cushion, internodes < leaves. Stem-leaves 7 x 2 mm, linear-oblong, sessile, very hairy, hairs appressed on both surfaces. Inflorescence a simple 2-4-flowered cyme, with each flower subtended by a bract, internodes and pedicels short. Calyx 5 mm long when in flower, lobes < half length of calyx, narrowly acute; hairs uniform and closely appressed. Corolla white, 7-8 mm diam., tube cylindric, 6 mm, corolla lobes 3 x 3 mm, rounded; filaments short, anthers 1.5 mm, projecting above rather large scales. Style 2 x calyx length. Nutlets ovate, 1.4-1.9 x 0.8-1.2 mm.
Myosotis cheesemanii is very close to M. colensoi from which it differs by its low cushion-forming rather than open mat-forming habit, uniform rather than variable leaf hair length, short rather than long lateral branches which unlike M. colensoi do not extend beyond the rosettes. Both species are also ecologically distinct; M. colensoi is confined to limestone rock and associated soils, M. cheesemanii a high alpine of cushion field and snow banks.
This species until recently remained little known to botanists. At least five populations are now known, and while most are small, at least one comprised 100 plants. Careful survey for this species is needed, as well as long-term monitoring of one or more populations to determine the species life cycle, and overall long-term stability.
cheesemanii: Named after Thomas Frederick Cheeseman (1846 - 15 October 1923) who was a New Zealand botanist and naturalist who, in 1906, produced The Manual of the New Zealand Flora.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 February 2008. Description based on Allan (1961)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Goverment Printer, Wellington.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Myosotis cheesemanii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/myosotis-cheesemanii/ (Date website was queried)