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 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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Otago (Pisa Range and Mount St Bathans).
Subalpine to alpine in snow hollows and on lake margins
Small, dull grey-green to green, much-branched, very densely packed perennial, rooting from short prostrate branches and forming compact, rigid cushions to 100 × 25 mm high, slightly overtopped by filiform flowering culms with few spikelets; branching intravaginal, new shoots with densely imbricating leaves; leaf-blades persistent. Leaf-sheath much wider than leaf-blade, pale greyish brown, membranous, glabrous, shining, ± indistinctly ribbed. Ligule 0.5-1.0 mm, apically glabrous, entire, narrowed centrally to a short point, underside sparsely to densely minutely pubescent. Leaf-blade 3-7 × 1-2 mm, stiff, inrolled, underside glabrous, ribs prominent, upper surface strongly ribbed, ribs whitish with fine minute hairs or prickle-teeth; midrib scabrid near very curved, subobtuse or occasionally acute tip. Culm 15-25 mm, internodes mainly smooth with a few minute prickle-teeth above. Panicle 5-10 mm, contracted, racemose, with 1-3 spikelets; branches and pedicels glabrous. Spikelets 4.5-5.5 mm, 2-5-flowered, light green to purplish. Glumes equal, 2.5-3.5 mm, 3-nerved, ovate-elliptic, subobtuse, smooth or rarely with a few prickle-teeth on midnerve near tip; margins entire. Lemma 3.0-3.5 mm, 5-nerved, ovate, obtuse, lower ½ with fine, often crinkled hairs on nerves and sparse somewhat shorter hairs on internerves, upper ½ sparsely scabrid on midnerve and near wide membranous margin; midnerve occasionally minutely excurrent. Palea 2.5-3.0 mm, keels ciliate, interkeel with sparse minute hairs. Callus with few long hairs. Rachilla 0.5 mm, sparsely ciliate; prolongation twice as long. Lodicules 0.4-0.6 mm. Anthers 1.2-1.6 mm. Seeds c.1.5-2.0 × 0.5 mm.
Easily recognised by the diminutive (up to 100 x 25 mm), compact, grey-green, cushion-forming growth habit; culms that scarcely over top the leaves, and panicles with obtuse lemmas whose internerves are glabrous in the upper ½ and sparsely covered with fine, usually crinkled hairs in the lower ½.
October - November (-December)
December - March
Difficult. Can be grown from fresh seed and from rooted pieces in an alpine house. Dislikes humidity and drying out.
Not Threatened - but known to occupy only small areas within its few known habitats.
poa: Meadow grass
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.