Chionochloa beddiei


Chionochloa: snow grass

Common Name(s)

Beddie's tussock, Cook Strait tussock

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 - Range Restricted


2012 - PD, RR, Sp


Chionochloa beddiei Zotov



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





Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (South Wellington Coast from about the Orongorongo River east to White Rock east of Cape Palliser).


Coastal and lowland. Usually on coastal bluffs, cliffs, talus slopes and sparsely scrub-covered promontories, occasionally extending for short distances inland


Short, shiny tussock with stiff and widely spreading shoots and persistent leaves. Leaf-sheath to 150 mm, slightly keeled, pale yellow, persistent, becoming fibrous, margins above with long hairs, apical tuft of hairs to 2 mm. Ligule to 0.5 mm. Leaf-blade to 600 × 4 mm, flat to U-shaped, persistent, deflexed at collar, abaxially glabrous, adaxially with a weft of short hairs at base, abundant prickle-teeth above; margin with long hairs below, becoming shaggy, hairs mostly antrorse and appressed. Culm to 750 mm, internodes glabrous except for short, dense hairs below inflorescence. Inflorescence to 150 mm, congested with short branches, bristling with awns; rachis, branches and pedicels short soft hairy. Spikelets of up to 5 florets. Glumes to 13 mm, shortly awned, < adjacent lemma lobes, prickle-teeth above, otherwise glabrous; lower 1-3-nerved, upper 1-5-nerved. Lemma to 6 mm; hairs dense at margin and in all internerves, or sometimes only aside central nerve, > sinus; lateral lobes to 11 mm including strict awn to 8 mm, prickle-teeth adaxially and abaxially and on lemma margins; central awn to 22 mm much deflexed from twisting column to 4 mm. Palea to 8.5 mm, produced into two conspicuous narrow processes; prickle-teeth abaxially above. Callus to 1 mm, hairs to 5 mm. Rachilla to 1 mm. Lodicules to 1.75 mm. Anthers to 4.5 mm. Ovary to 1 mm; stigma-styles to 4 mm. Seeds to 3 mm


November - December


December - May

Propagation Technique

Can be difficult. Best grown from fresh seed. Plants should be planted where they are to grow as they resent much root disturbance. Best in full sun, in a freely draining soil or on a stone wall. Dislikes humidity.


Not Threatened. Listed because it is a naturally uncommon, regional endemic.

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available.


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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 2 Aug 2017