Senecio glaucophyllus subsp. glaucophyllus


Senecio: From the Latin senex 'old man' (probably referring to the bearded seeds)
glaucophyllus: Blue or greyish/bluish leaves; having bloom on the leaves

Common Name(s)

None Known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - DP, RR


Senecio glaucophyllus Cheeseman subsp. glaucophyllus



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs - Composites


Senecio glaucophyllus Cheeseman


Endemic. South Island, North-West Nelson from Mt Burnett to the Owen Range


Montane to alpine (300 - 1300 m a.s.l.). A calcicole confined to limestone, marble, dolomite-limestone, dolomite-marble and dolomite rock outcrops and boulderfalls. Usually found in open sites or in sparsely vegetated situations. Sometimes in shrubland. Often around cave entrances and sink holes (tomo).


Erect, glabrous, summer-green, glaucous, perennial herb up to 0.9 x 1.0 m. Rootstock woody. Branches arising from base, dying back to base in winter with new seasons growth arising from numerous shoots at or just beneath soil surface. Stems not or only sparingly branched, 0.15-1 m tall. Lower stem leaves shortly petiolate, petiole broad and tapering; lamina 200-300 mm long, glaucous above, paler beneath, oblanceolate, obovate, elliptic to almost rhomboid, apex obtuse to acute, base attenuate, margins serrate to sinuate-serrate, rarely sub-entire. Mid stem leaves similar up to 900 mm long, narrowing to a broad petiole or subamplexicaul to amplexicaul. Upper stem leaves much narrower and smaller, bases auriculate, auricles deeply lacerate or entire. Inflorescences Unit terminal, of (1-)10(-15) capitula arranged corymbosely, overtopping leaves. Involucral bracts 5 mm long, linear. Ray florets 10-16, ligules 2-6 x 2-2.5 mm, bright yellow, linear ovate, ovate to oblong. Disc 5-8 mm diameter. Cypsela 2.5-3.5 x 0.5-0.7 mm, brown, dark brown to black-brown, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong-elliptic, slightly narrowed to or constricted below apex, base cuneate. Ribs broad and rounded; grooves deep, u-shaped; hairs retrorse in 1-6 rows, confined to grooves. Pappus 4.5-6.5 mm long, white.

Similar Taxa

Senecio glaucophyllus subsp. glaucophyllus is allopatric from and has little similarity to the other three recognised subspecies in the complex. These subspecies are only really unified by their chomosome number (2n = 100). Morphologically S. glaucophyllus is most likely to be confused with the type form of S. banksii Hook.f. which occupies similar habitats in the North Island, has similar glaucous to glaucescent leaves and flowers. However, S. banksii has a different chromosome number (2n = 60) and smaller seeds (up to 3.0 x 0.6 cf. 3.5 0.7 mm). The Senecio glaucophyllus complex is in critical need of revision.


November - January

Flower Colours



January - April

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. Does best in a pot in soil enriched with lime. Inclined to be short-lived.


Not threatened. However, a very local plant known from very few places, and common at none.

Chromosome No.

2n = 100

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available

Taxonomic notes

A very distinctive plant perhaps more closely allied to S. banksii s.s. than it is to the other taxa currently treated under it at subspecies rank.


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 November 2008. Description based on Ornduff (1960), Webb et al. (1988) supplemented by observations obtained from fresh specimens and herbarium material

References and further reading

Ornduff, R. 1960: An interpretation of the Senecio lautus complex in New Zealand. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88: 63-77.

Webb CJ, Sykes WR, Garnock-Jones PJ 1988. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch

This page last updated on 29 Apr 2014