Anthosachne falcis

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 - Sp
2009 - Sickle-leaved wheatgrass


Anthosachne falcis (Connor) Barkworth et S.W.L.Jacobs



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



Elymus falcis Connor


Endemic. South Island, inland Waimakariri, Ashburton, Waitaki and Central Otago. Populations usually scattered


Dry open ground, river beds, rocky sites, clay pans and within short tussock (Festuca novae-zelandiae) grassland from 450-1250 m a.s.l.


Small, glaucous, loosely tufted grass. Leaf sheath 20-50 mm, striate, retrorsely pubescent or glabrous. Ligule 0.3-0.5 mm, erose or finely toothed. Leaf-blade 50-150 x 0.5-0.7 mm, terete, involute, keeled and faintly ribbed, falcate, sinuous or irregularly curled, rarely straight, upper surface glaucous, with stiff erect, retrorse hairs 0.5-1 mm long, becoming glabrous, undersides densely hairy, lamina margin prickle-toothed, or with hairs 0.5 mm long. Culms 100-250 mm, prostrate to ascending, internodes smooth, glaucous. Inflorescences 20-100 mm, of 1-4 spikelets. Spikelets 40-50 mm, each with 4-6 shining florets. Glumes +/- equal, 4-9 mm, keeled, 3-nerved, becoming awned, glabrous, margins papery. Lemma smooth except for prickle-teeth on keel above, extending into falcate awn 30-50 mm. Palea 7-10 mm, apex pointed, bifid. Rachilla 1.5-2 mm, short stiff hairy. Callus 0.75 mm, very shortly bearded, hairs less than or equal in length to callus. Anthers 2.5 mm yellow (purple in some plants).

Similar Taxa

Perhaps closest to Anthosachne sacandros, from which it differs by the short, falcate, sinuous or straight leaf-blades, which are glabrous or with scattered erect 1 mm long hairs, and prostrate to ascending culms. Recognition in field: small glaucous tufts with flower stems extending well above leaf tip. Similar to A. aprica (which is a larger plant, with more spikes held at a distinct angle in the inflorescence) or the exotic A. scabra (which is similar in size, but the leaves are flat, hairy, and with distinct auricles at the base). This species was transferred from Elymus to Anthosachne by Barksworth & Jacobs (2011).


October - February

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,Yellow


November - March

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed. Does best in dry climates. Prefers a sunny situation free of weeds. In strong sunlight the leaves often become very glaucous.


A local endemic of restricted distribution that while not believed to be threatened occupies a very narrowly defined range that is ever increasingly vulnerable to loss of habitat through the expansion of the wine industry in Central Otago and the increasing urbanisation of the Waitaki and McKenzie Basins

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where to Buy

Not commercirally available


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P. J de Lange, June 2005. Description adapted from Edgar & Connor (2000).

References and further reading

Barkworth, M.E.; Jacobs, S.W.L. 2011: The Triticeae (Gramineae) in Australasia. Telopea 13: 37-56.

Edgar, E.; Connor, H.E. 2000: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. V. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

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 12 Sep 2014