Leathery leaved species. C. spectabilis is found along the North Island axial ranges, on the central volcanoes, and coastal hills in eastern Wairarapa. In the South Island it occurs in the mountains of Northwest Nelson, Marlborough and the dryer ranges east of the Main Divide.
Some tribes seem to have used leaf to make rough capes (Best 1907).
In Tūhoe district, found only at Maungapohatu. Sometimes transplanted and grown near villages (Best 1907)
These uses can also refer to other species of large-leaved Celmisia, in particular C. semicordata ( in the South Island).