Lachnagrostis pilosa subsp. pilosa
Robust wind grass
Deyeuxia pilosa Buchanan, Lachnagrostis richardii Zotov, Agrostis pilosa A.Rich.
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 = 56, 98
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. In the North Island it is mainly found in mountainous areas but it also occurs on Cuvier Island and around the South Wellington Coast
Coastal to alpine (sea level to 1600 m a.s.l.). Often on rock outcrops, cliff faces, talus slopes, on boulders within braided river systems, amongst grey scrub or fringing wetlands (mostly on the Chatham Islands)
Usually a robust, wide-leaved, perennial forming tufts 50-900 mm tall, rarely more gracile. Leaves usually harsh, dull green drying dark green. Inflorescences paniculate, usually rather large, firm, pale green and many flowered. Branching intravaginal. Leaf-sheath harsh textured, firm, striate, smooth or finely scabrid above, green to light brown. Ligule 1.3-6.0 mm, tapered, rounded, becoming denticulate, undersides finely scabrid. Leaf-blade 20-280 x 0.5-10 mm, usually flat, sometimes rather harsh and involute above, undersides with numerous fine, finely scabrid ribs, midrib prominent near base, upper surface finely ribbed and finely scabrid on ribs; margins finely scabrid, apex subobtuse. Culm 200-660 mm, erect, internodes usually entirely smooth, sometimes with a few prickle-teeth just below panicle, or rarely scabrid. Panicle 20-280 x 10-200 mm, at first stiff and contracted with erect branches, at maturity often more lax and ovate-elliptic; rachis smooth below, scabrid above, primary branches sparsely scabrid, filiform, very long, erect, secondary branchlets much shorter, very numerous, capillary, scaberulous, tipped by several clustered spikelets. Spikelets 3-6 mm, light green (rarely purple-green). Glumes ± equal, smooth and membranous, rarely sparsely scabrid in upper half, acute to acuminate; lower elliptic-lanceolate, scabrid on upper 2/3 of keel, upper linear-lanceolate, scabrid on upper ½ of keel. Lemma 2.0-2.8 mm long, < 2/3 length of glumes, elliptic-oblong, truncate, bearing long hairs in the lower 2/3, lateral nerves shortly excurrent; awn 3.0-8.5 mm long, geniculate, mid-dorsal. Palea elliptic-oblong one-half to three-fifths length of lemma, nerves scarcely evident, 0.2 mm apart, apex shallowly bifid. Callus hairs conspicuous, to 1.5 mm long, to ½ length of lemma. Rachilla prolongation < 0.5 mm with hairs to c.1 mm, or absent. Lodicules c.0.5 mm long, lanceolate, acute. Anthers 0.6-1.8 mm long. Seed 1.3-1.8 x 0.4-0.6 mm.
Distinguished from the other New Zealand Lachnagrostis by the generally robust, stout growth habit and wide, grey-green, harsh textured leaves. Of those species with intravaginal branching it is immediately distinguished by wide leaves (2-10 mm wide cf. 0.5-3.0 mm wide), firm, robust panicle, and by the scattered to densely hairy lemma. Two subspecies are recognised, subsp. pilosa differs from subsp. nubifera by the longer (3.0-8.5 mm in subsp. pilosa cf. 0.5-3.0 mm long in subsp. nubifera), geniculate rather than straight awns, and by the palea, which is one-half to three-fifths the length of lemma, rather than almost equal or equal in length.
October - January
December - May
Easy from fresh seed and rooted pieces. A vwery robust grass that is easily grown and flowered in a variety of situations.
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).
As currently circumscribed Lachnagrostis pilosa subsp. pilosa may comprise two taxa. Two cytotypes have been recognised (Murray et al. 2005). Morphologically the cytotypes differ in their stature and the size of their floral parts, they also have different DNA amounts (as ascertained by Flow Cytometry). Those plants with 2n = 56 may therefore, be better treated as a different, distinct, and apparently unnamed species. Also the status of L. pilosa subsp. nubifera needs clarification, as that subspecies probably warrants species rank.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 27 June 2006. 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.
Gardner, R.O. 2014: Notes on the wind grass Lachnagrostis filiformis (Poaceae). Auckland Botanical Society Journal 69: 168-170.
Murray, B.G.; de Lange, P.J.; Ferguson, A.R. 2005: Nuclear DNA Variation, Chromosome Numbers and Polyploidy in the Endemic and Indigenous Grass Flora of New Zealand. Annals of Botany 96: 1293-1305.
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 pilosa subsp. pilosa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/lachnagrostis-pilosa-subsp-pilosa/ (Date website was queried)