Vascular – Native
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.
2n = 26
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic. It has been recorded only from the Central Otago mountains.
A species of high alpine habitats in fell field, around tarns and in seepages. Often associated with small cushion plants.
Compact, leafy grass, 2-4.5(-10) cm tall. Leaf-sheath wider than leaf-blade, light-brownish grey, with few inconspicuous veins. Ligule (1.5-)2(-3.5) mm, tapered to an acute tip. Leaves 5.5-17 × 0.3-0.5 mm long, in-rolled, narrow smooth with finely toothed leaf margins, apex rounded (subobtuse). Culm (stem) 1.2-2.5(-4) cm, branched at base, often buried amongst leaves. Panicle (flowering spike) (5-)8-5(-18) mm, compact, branches few, these minutely scabrid (with small teeth). Spikelets 2.2-3 mm, greenish, shinning. Glumes more or less equal in length and size of spikelets, keels sparsely scabrid above, tip subacute, acute, almost spine-tipped (mucronate), lower 1-nerved, upper 3-nerved. Lemma 1.5-2.2 mm, faintly 5-nerved, oblong, 4-5-toothed with short terminal spine (mucro) 0.3-0.5 mm. Palea less than or equal to lemma, apex deeply cleft, keels finely scabrid. Anthers (0.3-)0.5(-0.6) mm. Seed c. 1 × 0.4 mm.
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Deschampsia pusilla has no close relatives, and is unlikely to be confused with other associated grasses in the habitats it occupies.
No information available
No information available
Florets are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
No information available.
Because of its small size, and restriction to high alpine situations in remote parts of Central Otago, this species is only known from a small number of collections. It may be common in these habitats but until comprehensive surveys are undertaken the exact status remains uncertain.
deschampsia: After Deschamps
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
References and further reading
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Deschampsia pusilla Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/deschampsia-pusilla/ (Date website was queried)