T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Leptinella filiformis (Slender button daisy)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Leptinella (was Cotula see text below)
Species: L. filiformis
Scientific name: Leptinella filiformis
Synonyms: Cotula filiformis
Common name: Slender button daisy.

Leptinella filiformis is native perennial herb that was originally recorded from the upper Awatere, Hanmer Plain, and adjacent Balmoral forest. It is now apparently extinct in the wild at all these locations. Once believed extinct this species was rediscovered in 1998 in a lawn at Hanmer Springs where by late 1999 they were extinct due to redevelopment of the hotel grounds. All cultivated material now known stems from that discovery. It has been reintroduced to protected sites but it still remains very uncommon and vulnerable to loss. 
It was a species of lowland to montane basins, plains and valley floors (300-600m altitude) where it formed a diffuse turf of feathery green to bronze-green foliage.  Small white flower heads appear in profusion mainly during summer. Available from specialised native nurseries.

For more detailed information: http://nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp? ID=21

For over 100 years, Leptinella species were considered part of the genus Cotula, but the genus Leptinella was reinstated by Lloyd & Webb in 1987. They determined that all species of Leptinella are distinguished from those of the other two sections of Cotula, and other anthemideae, by the conspicuous "inflated" corollas of the female florets and by chromosome numbers based on x = 26 where known.

A carpet of Leptinella filiformis. Click to enlarge