Scientific Name:
Echinopogon ovatus (G.Forst.) P.Beauv., Ess. Agrostogr. 42, 148, t.9, fig.5 (1812)
  • Agrostis ovata G.Forst., Fl. Ins. Austr. 40 (1786)
  • Cinna ovata (G.Forst.) Kunth, Révis. Gramin. 67 (1829)
  • = Echinopogon asper Trin., Fund. Agrost. (Trinius) 126 (1820) nom. superfl.
  • = Echinopogon novae-zelandiae Gand., Bull.Soc.Bot.France 66: 300 (1919)
  • = Echinopogon purpurascens Gand., Bull.Soc.Bot.France 66: 300 (1919)
Vernacular Name(s):
Forest hedgehog grass; Hedgehog grass

Lax, bluish-green tufts to 140 cm, or solitary culms, from a slender creeping rhizome. Leaf-sheath closely appressed to culms, firmly membranous, striate, retrorsely scabrid or smooth, sometimes purplish. Ligule 0.5–2.7 mm, finely denticulate, abaxially glabrous. Leaf-blade (2.5)–5–12–(25) cm × (1.5)–2–7–(8.5) mm, slightly constricted at base and tapering gradually to acute tip, abaxially minutely retrorsely scabrid on ribs, adaxially scabrid or smooth, sometimes with scattered hairs; margins rather closely and finely scabrid. Culm decumbent and sometimes geniculate at base, erect above, upper internodes with scattered minute prickle-teeth and retrorsely scabrid below panicle, or all internodes smooth. Panicle 0.7–5.5 × 0.4–4.0 cm, ovate-globose to narrow-oblong with conspicuous bristling awns; rachis smooth, branches almost smooth, bearing a few scattered prickle-teeth. Spikelets 4–12–(20) mm, green or occasionally purplish. Glumes ≤ spikelet, lanceolate, acute, ± membranous, keel conspicuous, thickened, green-margined, ciliate. Lemma 3–4–(4.5) mm, 5-nerved, linear-lanceolate, finely scabrid above, apex minutely bilobed; awn (2.5)–3.5–9–(14) mm, stout, straight, finely scabrid. Palea ≤ lemma, keels and apex ciliate. Callus hairs 0.8–1.4 mm. Rachilla prolongation ⅓-½ length of palea, usually > 1 mm and hairy, or < 1 mm and glabrous. Lodicules minutely ciliate or glabrous. Anthers 0.9–1.5 mm. Ovary apex hairy. Caryopsis 1.5–2 × 0.6–0.8 mm. n = 21.

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

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
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]
Forster, J.G.A. 1786: Florulae Insularum Australium Prodromus. Dietrich, Göttingen.
Kunth, K. S. 1829: Revision des Graminées publiées dans les Nova Genera et species plantarum de Humboldt et Bonpland; précédée d'un travail général sur la famille des graminées, par Charles-Sigismund Kunth. Paris.
Palisot de Beauvois, A.M.F.J. 1812: Essai d'une Nouvelle Agrostographie. Paris.
Trinius, C.B. 1820: Fundamenta Agrostographiae. J.G. Heubner, Vienna.