Calamagrostis epigejos


Calamagrostis: After Kalamos, a Greek mythical figure who was turned into a reed, and agrostis, a Greek word for 'grass' from agrotes 'of the field'.
epigejos: From the Greek prefix epi- 'upon' and ge 'earth'. Refers to a terrestial habitat in contrast to related species growing in swamps.

Common Name(s)

Wood small-reed; bushgrass


Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth



Brief Description

Robust, tall plant (50-200 cm) grass arising from stout rhizomes; stem (culm) bases with adventitious roots; leaves to 10 mm wide, flat with strong ribs, rough, glabrous. Inflorescences (panicles) dense, yellowish-brown when seed is ripe, 15-30 cm long. One flower per spikelet; seeds with long straight hairs from base of lemmas. Appears to be late flowering in NZ - seed heads not seen until March-April.

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

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



Collected on Raoul Island (1944) but not seen there in recent years; one mainland NZ site (first collected 1992, still present 2017), near Palmerston North.


near Palmerston North among ungrazed rank grasses on road edge.

Flower Colours


This page last updated on 28 Mar 2017