Scientific Name:
Leptinella dispersa (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd & C.J.Webb, New Zealand J. Bot. 25: 102 (1987)
  • Cotula dispersa D.G.Lloyd, New Zealand J. Bot. 10: 312 (1972)

A small or minute creeping perennial herb forming loose patches or part of a turf. Rhizomes at or near soil surface, slender, green or dark, flexible, sparsely villous; branches usually single at flowering nodes; leaves in two rows, single at the apex, 0.5-2.0 cm apart. Short shoots alternate on both sides of the rhizome, with up to 4 clustered leaves, occ. converted into rhizomes with distant leaves. Roots slender and weak, up to 0.3 mm. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, extremely variable in size and texture, 0.3-5.0 × 0.1-0.8 cm; blade 0.2-4.0 cm long, obovate, membranous (fleshy in some coastal situations), bright green, sts with brown pigment on proximal pinnae, ± glabrous, midrib not raised on ventral surface; pinnae 3-15 pairs, distant or distal ones slightly overlapping, cut to rhachis, elliptic or broadly so; teeth absent or 1-2 on larger pinnae or up to 10 on all pinnae, on distal and outer margins, sts extending partly onto proximal margin, small, cut ca. 1/3 across pinna, triangular, acute to acuminate (obtuse and mucronate if fleshy). Peduncles us. borne on rhizomes, short but equal to leaves, 0.2-3.0 cm, nude, pilose. Dioecious or monoecious. Heads very small, 1-3 mm diam. (pistillate heads 4 mm in fruit); surface convex. Pistillate heads with urceolate involucre; phyllaries 8-22 in 2 or more unequal rows, broadly elliptic, green, almost glabrous, with a broad us. browntipped scarious margin; inner phyllaries grow on to enclose the subglobose fruiting head; florets 10-30, ca. 1.5 mm long, not exceeding phyllaries, curved, yellow-green, corolla slightly longer than wide, with unequal teeth. Staminate heads with hemispherical involucre; phyllaries 5-8 in 1-2 subequal rows, not growing after anthesis; florets slightly more numerous. Bisexual heads intermediate, with widely varying percentages of staminate and pistillate florets. Achenes up to 1.3-1.6 × 0.6-0.8 mm, slightly compressed, in section almost round or irregularly angled, with a pale unwrinkled papery surface turning brown and smooth. Flowers in spring.

[Reproduced from Lloyd (1972, New Zealand J. Bot. 10: 277–372, as Cotula dispersa Lloyd) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Leptinella dispersa (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd & C.J.Webb
Indigenous (Endemic)2
Lloyd, D.G. 1972: A revision of the New Zealand, Subantarctic, and South American species of Cotula, section Leptinella. New Zealand Journal of Botany 10: 277–372.
Lloyd, D.G.; Webb, C. J. 1987: The reinstatement of Leptinella at generic rank, and the status of the 'Cotuleae' (Asteraceae, Anthemideae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 25: 99–105.