Marlborough Rock Daisy

Very showy native New Zealand daisy from eastern Marlborough (top of the South Island) where it naturally grows in rugged coastal rocky terrain. It has beautiful shiny green leathery leaves that have a light-coloured tormentum underneath like felt. The flower buds are quite a feature and open into daisy flowers.

“At present, 3 species are recognised in the genus.  Pachystegia insignis, Pachystegia minor and Pachystegia rufa all endemic to New Zealand.” — TERRAIN

“Pachystegia insignis hybridises readily with Pachystegia rufa, creating a variety of intermediate forms.” and TERRAIN provides a page about the hybrid form.

All links above go to different pages at the TERRAIN website (great photos).

Pachystegia insignis is a very popular plant available in most garden centres and widely grown in private and public gardens. It needs full sun and excellent drainage (it’s susceptible to root disease). I’d also recommend ensuring good air circulation around the foliage if you live in a wet climate – the felty undersides go rather grey in a long wet winter. I grew it in The Catlins and it withstood the frosts (temperatures down to -5 C).

I’ve fast-tracked this post because Steve Schwartzman posted some NZ plant photos and we’ve been discussing his Marlborough rock daisy photo which I suspect is an example of the hybrid form (as mentioned above). In the comments I noticed some bloggers were interested in the daisy who also visit my blog – so I hurried things along.

Click on ANY photos below to enlarge.

Photos I took at Dunedin Botanic Garden, native area, Christmas Day 2019.

The first two photos are almost certainly Pachystegia insignis. Flower buds.



You can see from the next photo that this is a different species – the buds, stems and undersides of the leaves all have a cinnamon colour.


My next photo is very similar but this time we see the beginnings of a flower.


And here’s the only fully open flower that I found.


That’s all the photos of these plants that I took on Christmas Day.

We walked into Tapanui from home on 14 April 2019 (autumn) and passed these Marlborough daisies along the way. Photos taken by Nigel. Tapanui, West Otago.
Old flowers and seedheads.

I’ve shared the next photo on my blog before. I took it in Oamaru, 21 January 2019.


As Nigel observed when he saw me putting this post together:

Marlborough daisies rock !!

Text by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

16 thoughts on “Marlborough Rock Daisy

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  1. That’s a really good-looking plant. 🙂 The buds and leaves are very elegant in the top photo and I love the fluffy seed-heads. (Bet my cats would too – boing with a paw and there would be seeds everywhere, hehe!)

    Liked by 1 person

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