Festuca matthewsii subsp. latifundii
southern blue fescue
None (first described in 1998)
Vascular – Native
2n = 42
Current conservation status
The conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Waitaki Basin and Central Otago – excluding the Dunstan, Pisa, and Old Man Ranges).
Subalpine to alpine and in intermontane basins. A major component of tussock grasslands on hills and plains
Glaucous tussock with scabrid leaves and tall culms bearing reflexed branches of large spikelets. Leaf-sheath 30-100 mm, glabrous, margins membranous; apical auricles 0.4-1.0 mm, ciliate, approximately equal to ligule. Leaf-blade 80-300 × 0.5-0.9 mm, terete to ± hexagonal, undersides with short antrorse prickle-teeth especially on ribs, upper surface and margins with abundant longer white antrorse hairs. Culm 200-800 mm, usually exserted high above leaves, nodes dark, evident, internodes smooth but sometimes antrorsely scabrid. Panicle 60-180 mm, erect with 6-8 nodes, 10-20 spikelets; branches solitary or often binate, naked below, pulvinate and reflexed, basal branch 15-80 mm of 2-6 spikelets, uppermost 2-4 spikelets solitary on 2-4 mm pedicels; rachis margins prickle-toothed sometimes smooth below, branches and pedicels prickle-toothed on margins. Spikelets 10-16 × 4-6 mm, of 5-7 florets. Glumes unequal, keels sometimes prickle-toothed, centrally green, brown or reddish, margins ciliate; lower 3.0-5.5 mm, 1-nerved, upper 3.5-6.5 mm, 3-nerved. Lemma 5-8 mm, 5-nerved, glaucous, keeled, smooth except for prickle-teeth at apex, margin antrorsely hairy; awn 1-3 mm. Palea 5.0-7.5) mm, usually greater than or equal to lemma, deeply bifid, keels toothed in upper ½ or more, interkeel hairs at apex, margins of flanks hairy above. Callus 0.2-0.3 mm, margin sparsely bearded; articulation ± oblique. Rachilla 1.0-1.5 mm, abundantly short stiff hairy. Lodicules 0.7-1.4 mm, usually hair-tipped. Anthers 3.0-4.2 mm, yellow to purple. Ovary 0.6-1.0 mm, hispid hairs at apex; stigma-styles 1.2-2.0 mm. Seed 2-3 mm
October - December
November - March
Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. An attractive grass tolerant of most conditions but dislikes humidity.
festuca: From the Latin festuca ‘stem’ or ‘blade of grass’
matthewsii: After Mathews
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.