Vascular – Exotic
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.
Terrestrial. Coastal plant, usually occurs on sand dunes, can occur in inland sites with low fertility.
Stout rhizomatous perennial grass. Rhizomes tough, creeping long distances in loose sand. Compact tufts formed, 1 m+ high. Leaves to 700 x 3-6 mm, greyish-green, tips sharp, reddish-brown sheaths overlapping; blades tightly rolled (appear cylindrical) in exposed conditions, loosely rolled in shade; densely hairy ribs above, striped below, narrow ligule 25 mm long. Seedhead a dense spike, whitish, to 30 cm long.
Leymus racemosus is more robust, foliage less bluish. Austrofestuca littoralis native sand tussock can be confused with small marram plants.
November, December, January, February, March
Europe, North Africa
arenaria: Sand dweller
Reason For Introduction
Life Cycle Comments
Can spread large distances via seed. Vegetative reproduction occurs rapidly through extensive rhizomatic growth. The plant achieves this by trapping sand and growing through it
Low amounts of seed are produced. Seed viability is low, with no contribution to the seed bank.
Seed is dispersed by wind. Direct spread from extending rhizomes, seed and rhizome fragments spread by wind and water, deliberate planting by people for sand dune
Highly tolerant to drought and is virtually unpalatable to grazing stock. Intolerant to shade.