Scientific Name:
Leptinella pusilla Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 129 (1852)
  • Cotula perpusilla Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 143 (1864)
  • = Cotula angustata G.Simpson, Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 79: 435 (1952)

A small perennial herb with tufts of leaves in grassland turfs. Rhizomes us. well-buried, pale, wiry and glabrous; branches uncommon, us. single at flowering nodes; leaves spirally arranged reduced scales lacking blade and petiole, 0.5-2.0 cm apart. Short shoots growing upwards from the rhizome, with 4-8 tufted leaves at the apex. Roots slender and weak, up to 0.5 mm diam. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 1-6 × 0.3-1.0 cm; blade 0.5-3.0 cm long, lanceolate to obovate, submembranous, light green but often proximal or all pinnae covered with brown pigment, us. moderately villous but glabrous to densely villous, midrib raised along most of ventral surface; pinnae 8-15 pairs, distant to overlapping, cut to rhachis, oblong or obovate; teeth absent or up to 8 per pinna, on distal margins, not obscured by hairs, cut ¼—½ across pinna, narrowly triangular, acute to acuminate, sts with a terminal tuft of hairs. Peduncles ca. equal to leaves, 1-3 cm, nude or occ. with 1 simple bract, villous. Dioecious. Pistillate heads 2-4 mm, up to 8 mm in fruit; surface convex; involucre urceolate; phyllaries 15-30 in 3 or more unequal rows, broadly elliptic, green, ± villous, with a broad often brown-tipped scarious margin; inner phyllaries grow after anthesis to enclose the subglobose fruiting head; florets 25-80, ca. 2.0 mm long, curved, yellow-green; corolla slightly longer than wide, with unequal teeth. Staminate heads 3-5 mm diam.; involucre hemispherical, phyllaries 5-10 in 1-2 subequal rows, not growing after anthesis; florets slightly more numerous. Achenes up to 1.6 × 1.0 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 perpusilla Hook.f.) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
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. [Declining]
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. [Not Threatened]
Hooker, J.D. 1852–1853 ("1853"): The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Hooker, J.D. 1864: 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 Macquarie's Islands. Part I. 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.
Simpson, G. 1952: Notes on some New Zealand plants and descriptions of new species (No. 5). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 79: 419–435.