Scientific Name:
Chionochloa rubra Zotov, New Zealand J. Bot. 1: 96 (1963)
  • = Danthonia antarctica var. δ minor Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 302 (1853)
Vernacular Name(s):
red tussock
Tall, slender, red tussock with crowded, erect, stiff, junceous leaves. Leaf-sheath to 30 cm, dark brown, keeled, incurving, remaining entire or fracturing into short segments, margin separating and coiling, apical tuft of hairs to 3 mm. Ligule to 1 mm. Leaf-blade to 1 m × 1.2 mm diam., acicular junceous, splitting longitudinally, keel hollow, abaxially glabrous but infrequently with long hairs near base, prickle-teeth towards apex, adaxially with rows of short hairs or wefts of long hairs at base, prickle-teeth and sometimes papillae above; margin with long hairs below, prickle-teeth above, rarely smooth. Culm to 1.5 m, internodes glabrous but sometimes long hairy, sheath glabrous. Inflorescence to 45 cm, open on pulvinate branches, glabrous except for long hairs at branch axils and short stiff hairs below spikelets, rarely becoming scabrid above. Spikelets of up to 9 florets. Glumes glabrous, acute, infrequently awned, ≤ adjacent lemma lobes, lower to 12 mm, 1–3–5-nerved, upper to 14 mm, 3–5–7-nerved. Lemma to 6 mm; hairs dense on margin, usually absent or sparse elsewhere, or present in all internerves (subsp. cuprea), <sinus; lateral lobes to 6 mm including awn to 3 mm, rarely unawned; central awn to 13 mm from twisting column to 3 mm. Palea to 8 mm. Callus to 1.5 mm, hairs to 4 mm. Rachilla to 0.75 mm. Lodicules to 1 mm. Anthers to 5 mm. Gynoecium: ovary to 1 mm; stigma-styles to 4 mm. Caryopsis to 3.5 mm. 2n= 42.
[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]
Indigenous (Endemic)
Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Chionochloa rubra Zotov
Indigenous (Endemic)5
Connor, H.E. 1991: Chionochloa Zotov (Gramineae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 219–283.
Hooker, J.D. 1853: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Zotov, V.D. 1963: Synopsis of the grass subfamily Arundinoideae in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 1: 78–136.