Lachnagrostis billardierei subsp. billardierei
sand wind grass
Agrostis billardierei R.Br., Deyeuxia billardierei (R.Br.) Kunth, Calamagrostis billardierei (R.Br.) Steud.
Vascular – Native
2n = 56
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 | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. Common throughout New Zealand and Australia
Mainly coastal (rarely inland). On sand dunes, cobble and boulder beaches, on cliff faces, in free draining sites along estuarine river banks, and fringing coastal ponds and lagoons. Sometimes on limestone or calcareous sandstone bluffs well inland.
Stiffly tufted, glaucous to bluish-green perennial grass, 100-600 mm tall, with capillary-branched panicles sometimes overtopped by leaves. Branching intravaginal. Leaf-sheath papery, with wide membranous margins, closely striate, smooth but sometimes scaberulous above on nerves, light brown to amber. Ligule 1.0-4.5 mm, tapered above, entire to erose, undersides scabrid. Leaf-blade 50-240 x 2.5-10.0 mm, flat, harsh, scaberulous on ribs and on margins throughout, more or less abruptly narrowed to firm, more or less blunt, more or less cucullate apex. Culm 40-400 mm, erect, or decumbent at base, included within uppermost leaf-sheath, internodes densely finely scabrid. Panicle 60-240 x 100-240 mm, purple-green to wine-red, lax, with long, whorled, ascending branches, later spreading and panicle becoming as broad as long; rachis and branches scaberulous, spikelets single at tips of ultimate panicle branchlets, on pedicels thickened above. Spikelets 4-6 mm, pale green, purple-green or red-green. Glumes 1-3-nerved, narrow-lanceolate, acuminate, usually smooth, sometimes sparsely scabrid, margins wide, hyaline, mid-nerve scabrid. Lemma 3-4 mm, more or less two-thirds length of glumes, smooth, or often scabrid above (especially on nerves), membranous, shining, elliptic-lanceolate, lateral nerves excurrent to short awns 0.5-1.0 mm long; central awn 4.5-9.0 mm, fine, geniculate from lower third of lemma 9rarely middorsal). Callus hairs more or less dense, very short, 0.3-0.7 mm, c. one-tenth length of lemma. Rachilla prolongation 0.5-1.0 mm, tipped by a thick tuft of hairs 1.0-1.5 mm and more or less equivalent in length to palea. Lodicules slightly > 0.5 mm, lanceolate, acute. Anthers 0.5-1.0 mm. Seed 1.3-1.8 x 0.5-0.8 mm.
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Distinguished from the other New Zealand species by the intravaginal branches; by the flat leaf-blades, 2.5-10 mm wide; by the spikelets 4-6 mm long; and by the glabrous lemma that is smooth below and often scabrid on the nerves,
August - February
December - June
Easy from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Best in full sun.
lachnagrostis: From “lachne” (wool) referring to the distinctive callus hairs of this genus and “agrostis” by which Trinius (1820) actually meant “a grass” (not an Agrostis). So the generic name means “a hairy (woolly) grass” not “a hairy (woolly) Agrostis” as is often incorrectly stated (see Gardner 2014).
billardierei: Named after Jacques Houttou de Labillardiere (1755-1834), 19th century French botanist who described several New Zealand plants
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 April June 2005. Description modified from Edgar & 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.
Gardner, R.O. 2014: Notes on the wind grass Lachnagrostis filiformis (Poaceae). Auckland Botanical Society Journal 69: 168-170.
Trinius, C.B. 1820: Fundamenta Agrostographiae. J.G.Huebner, Vienna.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Lachnagrostis billardierei subsp. billardierei Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/lachnagrostis-billardierei-subsp-billardierei/ (Date website was queried)