Agrostis petriei


Agrostis: Greek name for a kind of grass
petriei: Named after Donald Petrei (1846 -1925), Otago botanist

Common Name(s)

None known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - DP, Sp


Agrostis petriei Hack.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Agrostis petriei Hack. var. petriei; Agrostis petriei var. mutica Hack.


Endemic. South Island from Canterbury to Central Otago


Montane to subalpine on dry stony ground, cliff faces and rock outcrops. Also on river flats and within tussock grassland


Loosely erect, tussock forming, bluish-green to greyish green clump-forming grass 150-550 mm tall, with slender, involute, finely scabrid leaves << culms. Branching extravaginal. Leaf-sheath firm, light; lower sheaths, minutely scabrid, upper sheaths smooth, sparsely and faintly ribbed. Ligule 1.0-4.5 mm, obtuse to truncate, denticulate, undersides scabrid. Leaf-blade 40-180 x 0.3-1.0 mm, rigid, wiry, densely and minutely papillose-scabrid, apex obtuse. Culm erect or geniculate at base, internodes glabrous. Panicle 40-160 mm, openly, and laxly oblong; rachis smooth, branches and pedicels more or less spreading, delicate, reddish brown, finely and sparsely scabrid. Spikelets 2.5-3.4 mm, pale green to brown, or purple. Glumes more or less equal, lanceolate, keel and margins usually finely scabrid near acute apex. Lemma 2.0-2.6 mm, glabrous, 5-nerved, ovate, obtuse to truncate, minutely denticulate; awn 1.5-3.0 mm long. mid-dorsal straight or slightly wavy, sometimes absent. Palea 0.2-0.4 mm long, orbicular. Lodicules 0.2-0.4 mm long. Callus with very few short hairs. Anthers 1.0-1.8 mm long. Seed 1.5 x 0.5 mm

Similar Taxa

Agrostis petriei is readily recognised by its rigid, strictly involute, wiry blue-green to grey-green leaf-blades, which are very obviously, densely scabrid-papillose. Unlike the other indigenous Agrostis, A. petriei favours very dry sites within lowland to subalpine areas. It is usually found on rock outcrops or along river flats within ablation zones or within open stony pavements on river flats.


October - January


December - March

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed and rooted pieces but dislikes humidity and will not flower unless subjected to cold treatment


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Florets are dispersed by wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).




Description modified from Edgar and Connor (2000).

References and further reading

Edgar, E.; Connor, H.E. 2000: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. V. Grasses. Christchurch, Manaaki Whenua Press. 650 pp.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 10 May 2014