Koeleria novozelandica var. typica Domin, K. novozelandica var. parvula Domin, K. superba Domin, K. gintlii Domin
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 = 28
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North Island, Kaimanawa Mountains only. South Island common except in Westland and Fiordland
A species of subalpine scrub, alpine fell field, rock outcrops, tussock grassland and stream margins.
On wide range of rock substrates from limestone to ultramafic; (c. 100)-500-2000 m.
Extremely variable, slender, occasionally lush, tufted or very shortly rhizomatous perennial, of low to medium stature, 4-46-(82) cm, with leaves varying from greyish green to green and from tightly inrolled to flat, with erect culms and usually spike-like panicles, sometimes greatly overtopping leaves; branching extravaginal. Leaf-sheath abaxially glabrous, scabrid, pubescent or villous. Ligule membranous, truncate, often erose and/or somewhat ciliate, (0.2)-0.3-1.3 mm. Collar often thickened and paler near margins, often with long hairs on upper margins. Leaf-blade flat, folded or involute, linear to ± filiform, 3-15-(30) cm × 1-1.5 mm diam., or up to 2-(4) mm wide, abaxially glabrous, scabrid, pubescent or villous, adaxially ribbed, scabrid to densely villous, especially on ribs; margins ± scabrid, often with long hairs below, apex acute, hooded. Culm to 41-(66) cm, internodes entirely glabrous or frequently minutely pubescent below panicle, often scabrid to villous above and/or below nodes, very occasionally pubescent throughout. Panicle (2.0)-3.0-16 × 0.5-1.2 cm, spike-like or occasionally lanceolate, sometimes interrupted, with appressed-ascending branches; branches and pedicels glabrous, scabrid or pubescent to villous; bract subtending panicle glabrous, or often tipped by long hairs, or absent. Spikelets (3.8)-4.5-5.8-(7) mm, 2-3-(5)-flowered, light green, often purplish to brownish. Glumes subequal, membranous with wide hyaline margins above, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic; lower 3.0-4.8 mm, 1-3-nerved, upper 3.2-5.2 mm, 3-4-nerved. Lemma (3.0)-3.8-4.7-(5.5) mm, 3-5-nerved, oblong, narrow obovate, or lanceolate, acute, acuminate or occasionally obtuse, entire, mucronate or shortly awned (sometimes within one panicle), apex sometimes minutely bidentate; awn apical or subapical, to 1.5-(3.2) mm. Palea 3.5-4.3 mm, recurved from base, keel prickle-toothed above. Callus hairs (0.1)-0.2-0.5-(0.7) mm. Rachilla 0.6-1.5-(1.9) mm, hairs 0.2-1.4 mm; prolongation c. 1 mm, hairs short (0.3 mm). Lodicules 0.7-1.1 mm. Anthers 0.8-2.5 mm. Gynoecium: ovary 0.5-0.8 mm; stigma-styles 1-1.4 mm. Caryopsis c. 2 × 0.4 mm.
Florets are dispersed by wind and possibly attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from fresh seed and division of whole plants. Dislikes humidity and does best in a cool, airy, shaded site in well drained, damp soil. Best in an alpine house.
koeleria: Named after George Ludwig Koeler (1765-1807), 18th century German botanist. Author of a work on the grasses of Germany and France, Descriptio graminum in Gallia et Germania (1802).
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
New Zealand Koeleria might be better placed in Trisetum. Koeleria novozelandica is very variable and some forms, especially that from the Awahokomo Valley probably deserve recognition as a separate species.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange June 2005. Description modified from Edgar and Connor (2000).
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): Koeleria novozelandica Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/koeleria-novozelandica/ (Date website was queried)