Scientific Name:
Leptinella featherstonii F.Muell., Veg. Chatham Isl. 27, t. 5 (1864)
  • Cotula featherstonii (F.Muell.) Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 733 (1867)
  • = Cotula renwickii Cockayne, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 47: 119 (1915)
Vernacular Name(s):
Muttonbird plant

A robust, luxuriant suberect perennial herb. Stems erect or later becoming decumbent, 0.2-1.2 m tall, thick, up to 6 mm diam., green, hard, subwoody at base, incompletely ringed at intervals with old leafscars and sparsely covered with short deciduous hairs; branches clustered, us. 3-4 diverging from a flowering node and the nodes immediately behind, often repeated at later nodes several times per season; leaves several clustered at the apex, older ones scattered 0.2- 3.0 cm apart. Roots not seen. Leaves simple, almost sessile, 1.5-4.0 × 0.7-1.7 cm; blade obovate, narrowing into ill-defined petiole and leafbase, tender, grass-green, glabrous to thickly and evenly covered with soft, suberect, zh deciduous hairs, midrib and principal veins evident on both surfaces, with 0-3 shallow triangular obtuse teeth on either side just below the apex. Peduncles shorter than leaves, 1-2 cm, with 0 or a few small bracts, villous. Monoecious. Heads ca. 1 cm diam.; surface hemispherical; involucre hemispherical; phyllaries 10- 15 in 1-2 subequal rows, broadly elliptic, rather thick, green with 1-3 brown veins evident, sparsely pilose, with a narrow transparent scarious margin around the apex only, not growing after anthesis; pistillate florets ca. 200 in 6 or more rows, ca. 2.0 mm long, almost straight, yellow-green; corolla ca. 3 times as long as wide, blunt, with equal teeth; staminate florets fewer, ca. 130. Achenes up to 1.5 × 0.7 mm, slightly compressed, chocolate-brown, striated with 2 lateral, 2-4 anterior and 2-4 posterior pale ribs, unwrinkled. Probably flowers from spring to autumn.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)
Cockayne, L. 1915: An Undescribed Species of Cotula from the Chatham Islands. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 47: 119.
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [Relic]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Relic]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Relic]
Hooker, J.D. 1867: Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's, and Macquarrie's Islands. Part II. Reeve, London.
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.
Mueller, F.J.H. 1864: The vegetation of the Chatham Islands. Government Printer, Melbourne.