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

Brachyglottis elaeagnifolia

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Brachyglottis
Species: B. elaeagnifolia
Binomial name: Brachyglottis elaeagnifolia
Synonym: Senecio elaeagnifolius

Brachyglottis elaeagnifolia is a rigid, multi-stemmed dense evergreen bush usually about 1.2 m but can grow into a small tree up to 5m tall with a trunk of 30cm.  The bark is a light brown and will detach in strips. 
The shiny thick leathery leaves are green above, up to 7cm long and 4 cm wide. The undersides of the leaves are covered with a tomentum which is usually an orange-brown colour but it can be sometimes white. 
Its small white flowers which are covered in white hairs appear during summer in clusters on much-branched inflorescences. The flower heads have orange-brown disc florets only hence the genus name Brachyglottis which describes the short ray florets. Bracts of the flowers which remain on the shrub long after the seed has dispersed by the wind are known as 'wood flowers'.
Brachyglottis elaeagnifolia is widespread in the North Islands Mountains including Mt Egmont/Taranaki and is found far south as the Marlborough Sounds. On Mt Egmont/Taranaki its a subalpine scrub growing between 1100 and 1400 metres above sea level.

A stunted tree on the scrub line on the Stratford Mt Egmont/Taranaki plateau.

Young tree on the roadside, the lower section of North Egmont road.

Young fruiting heads.
Seeds about to be dispersed by the wind. (March)

The undersides of the leaf showing the tomentum.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/