Scientific Name:
Chionochloa australis (Buchanan) Zotov, New Zealand J. Bot. 1: 103 (1963)
  • Danthonia raoulii subsp. australis Buchanan, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 4: 224 (1872)
  • Danthonia australis (Buchanan) Buchanan, Indig. Grasses of N. Z. t. 31 (1879)
Vernacular Name(s):
Carpet grass; Haumata; Tussock grass; Wī kura

Mat-forming grass with persistent, short leaves densely crowded in tight shoots among many old sheaths, and much shorter than flowering culms; hairy prophylls evident. Leaf-sheath to 7 cm, imbricate, persistent, entire, becoming fibrous and separating into two distinct layers when old, shiny, glabrous, long (7 mm) entangled hairs at apex usually spreading across proximate sheath, adaxially with antrorse, soft, internerve hairs to 0.25 mm; margins undulating and usually glabrous. Ligule to 1.5 mm, often obscured by hairs of sheath and leaf-blade. Leaf-blade to 10 cm × 0.8 mm diam., acicular junceous, persistent, navicular, ± terete, distichous rarely mono-stichous, abaxially shining, glabrous, adaxially with a dense weft of long hairs at base, hairs gradually becoming fewer and shorter above, usually projecting beyond leaf margin, abundant papillae above; margin smooth. Culm to 40 cm, internodes glabrous except for short hairs below nodes and long hairs below inflorescence. Inflorescence to 5 cm; 3–5 solitary spikelets on short, flexuous, long hairy, pulvinate branches. Spikelets of up to 8 often purpled florets. Glumes to 14 mm, glabrous, acute or mucronate, frequently purpled, > adjacent lemma lobes; lower 3-nerved, upper 5-nerved. Lemma to 5 mm; hairs dense at margin and erect aside main nerve, usually absent or fewer elsewhere, ≈ sinus; lateral lobes to 7 mm including awn up to 4 mm, sometimes shortly lobed again, glabrous except for prickle-teeth above; central awn to 15 mm, reflexed from flattened to strongly twisting column to 4 mm. Palea to 7 mm. Callus to 1 mm, hairs to 2.5 mm. Rachilla to 1 mm. Lodicules to 1 mm. Anthers to 4 mm. Gynoecium: ovary to 0.8 mm; stigma-styles to 3 mm. Caryopsis to 3 mm. 2n= 42. Plates 8H, 9C.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]

Indigenous (Endemic)
Buchanan, J. 1872 ("1871"): On some New Species of New Zealand Plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 4: 224–227.
Buchanan, J. 1879: The Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand. Vol. Part III & IV. Wellington, N.Z.
Connor, H.E. 1991: Chionochloa Zotov (Gramineae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 219–283.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Zotov, V.D. 1963: Synopsis of the grass subfamily Arundinoideae in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 1: 78–136.