Scientific Name:
Leptinella squalida Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 129 (1852)
  • Cotula squalida (Hook.f.) Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 143 (1864)

A creeping, rapid-growing perennial herb, us. intermingled with other species in a turf, sts in patches colonising sand. Rhizomes at or near soil surface, green or dark, flexible, pilose, becoming pale, wiry and glabrous if buried; branches us. single at flowering nodes; leaves in two rows, single at the apex, 0.5-3.0 cm apart. Short shoots alternate on both sides of the rhizome, with 3-8 clustered leaves, under favourable conditions converted into rhizomes with distant leaves. Roots slender and weak, up to 0.8 mm diam. Leaves 1-pinnatifid, 0.5-10.0 × 0.3-2.0 cm; blade; 0.4-6.0 cm, elliptic or obovate, membranous (fleshy on coastal cliffs), bright green and often with brown pigment especially on proximal pinnae, us. sparsely pilose but glabrous to moderately pilose, midrib raised along most of ventral surface; pinnae 6-20 pairs, oblong to elliptic, often falcate, either all equidistant, not overlapping and cut to rhachis or (in subsp. squalida) distal pinnae closer and overlapping and not quite cut to rhachis; teeth us. present on larger pinnae at least, up to 10 per pinna, on distal margins, cut 1/3—2/3 across pinna, oblong, acute or acuminate. Peduncles us. borne on rhizomes, longer than leaves, 1-6 cm, nude or with 1 simple bract, sparsely pilose. Dioecious. Pistillate heads 3-5 mm, ca. 10 mm in fruit; surface convex; involucre urceolate; phyllaries 15-40 in 3 or more subequal rows, broadly elliptic, green, ± villous, with a broad brown-tipped scarious margin; inner phyllaries grow after anthesis to enclose subglobose fruiting head; florets 15—70, ca. 2.25 mm long, curved, yellow-green; corolla slightly longer than wide, with unequal teeth. Staminate heads 4-7 mm diam.; involucre hemispherical; phyllaries 5-10 in 1-2 rows, not growing after anthesis; florets slightly more numerous. Achenes up to 1.9 × 0.9 mm, slightly compressed, in section almost round or irregularly angled, with a pale unwrinkled papery surface turning brown and smooth. Flowers in spring and summer.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)
Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Leptinella squalida Hook.f.
Indigenous (Endemic)2
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. [as Cotula squalida (Hook.f.) Hook.f.]
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.