April 24, 2017

Megaherb: Silver-leaf Daisy

Pleurophyllum hookeri - Giant Button Daisy (the reddish flowers) | Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Author: Twiddleblat (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pleurophyllum hookeri – Silver-leaf Daisy (the reddish flowers) | Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Author: Twiddleblat (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The silvery hairs on both sides of the leaves set Pleurophyllum hookeri apart from its near relatives, P. speciosum and P. criniferum. This megaherb can be found on the subantarctic islands of Auckland and Campbell in New Zealand and Macquarie in Australia. One of the giant button daisies, it is called Silver-leaf Daisy and can reach up to three feet in height, with its flowers a violet to purple shade. The species was named after botanist Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker who was a member of the Antarctic expedition of Sir James Ross in 1939. (Ross has several claims to fame named after him, as well.) A contemporary of Charles Darwin, Hooker wrote about the flora of New Zealand some years after the four-year exploration; his introduction to the book was written in 1852 and talks about some of the difficulties entailed in this undertaking.

For more: How We Found Out About Megaherbs