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


Leptinella pyrethrifolia (Mountain pincushion)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Leptinella
Species: Leptinella pyrethrifolia
Binomial name: Leptinella pyrethrifolia var. pyrethrifolia
Synonyms: Cotula pyrethrifolia C. pyrethrifolia var. pyrethrifolia
Common name: Mountain pincushion

Leptinella pyrethrifolia var. pyrethrifolia is a gynodioecious creeping variable perennial herb forming circular patches up to 1 m wide. Gynodioecious plants have bisexual flowers on some plants and only female flowers on other plants of the same species.
It grows in damp subalpine to alpine (600-2000 m a.s.l.) areas, usually along streams and river banks, at the base of talus and scree slopes, or on rocky ridges, or near and growing on rock outcrops. It is endemic to the North Island from Ruahine Ranges south and in the South Island from Marlborough and Nelson to southern Canterbury.
The leaves are fleshy, glabrous and are deeply cut into 1-5 pairs of lobes. Cream to white prominent flowerheads (8-16mm across) are borne on long stalks (5-10cm long) from November to February.
Its is occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.

Photographed at Otari Wilton Reserve, Wellington.