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Genus Argyrotegium Family Asteraceae

Description: Perennial herbs, usually forming mats. Stems usually prostrate, much-branched, leafy, rooting from nodes, upturned at tips.

Leaves alternate, simple, entire; tomentose on both surfaces, usually flat; sheath usually at least half length of lamina.

Flower heads solitary or few together in terminal clusters, conical and sessile at anthesis, opening and becoming stalked as fruits develop. Involucral bracts spirally arranged, changing gradually from outer to inner bracts; outer bracts shorter, broader; inner bracts papery, straw-coloured to pale brown. Receptacle flat, without scales. Florets all tubular with corolla colourless or entirely crimson or crimson in part only; outer florets filiform, female, usually more numerous than central florets. Central florets broader, hermaphrodite; corolla lobes short, erect; anther apical appendage flat, tails usually not exceeding filament collar; style branches obtuse with hairs dorsally and apically, dorsal hairs decreasing downwards.

Achenes obovoid, more than 1 mm long; pappus hairs slender, capillary, narrowing at apex; bases fused in groups or in a fragile ring, sometimes with patent cilia or shorter protrusions.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 species New Zealand, Australia (Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales)

Subalpine and alpine, often in wetter areas such as stream, bog, and lake margins, but also in grassland and herbfield.

The generic name is derived from the Greek words argyreon, silver, and tegium, a little mat, referring to the predominant leaf colour and mat- or patch-forming growth habit.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Josephine M. Ward, Ilse Breitwieser & Christina Flann (2003) Argyrotegium, a new genus of Gnaphalieae (Compositae) New Zealand Journal of Botany,Vol. 41: 603-611.

 Key to the species 
1Flower heads solitary, rarely 2 together2
Flower heads several to many3
2Leaves crowded and overlapping, appearing satiny with tightly appressed hairs; margins incurvedArgyrotegium nitidulum
Leaves many but not regularly overlapping; softly woolly with loose hairs
                       Back to 1
Argyrotegium mackayi
3Leaves appearing satiny with tightly appressed silvery to rust coloured hairsArgyrotegium fordianum
Leaves softly woolly with loose white hairs
                       Back to 1
Argyrotegium poliochlorum

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