Scientific Name:
Festuca matthewsii subsp. aquilonia Connor (1998)

Stiff scabrid leaved tussock with scabrid inflorescences of wide-angled branches of awned spikelets borne high above circular or hexagonal glaucous leaves. Prophyll 3–5 cm, stramineous, keels strongly ciliate. Leaf-sheath (5)–10–15 cm, glabrous or minutely scabrid, keeled, stramineous, margins membranous, brown below; apical auricles 0.3–0.7 mm, ciliate. Collar usually swollen. Leaf-blade 15–25–30 cm × 0.5–0.7 mm diam., glaucous, hexagonal and ribbed or terete, abaxially minutely or strongly antrorsely prickle-toothed sometimes glabrous, adaxially with abundant short white antrorse hairs on ribs and margins; TS: 5 vascular bundles, 7 sclerenchyma strands or continuous, costal sclerenchyma sometimes present. Culm 30–45–(70) cm, usually greatly exceeding leaf-blades, nodes sometimes geniculate, uppermost conspicuous, upper internodes sparsely prickle-toothed or glabrous. Panicle (7)–10–15 cm with 6–9 nodes, of 8–13–(25) spikelets; open wide-angled pulvinate branches sometimes contracted or becoming so, naked below, basal branch solitary with 2–4–(7) spikelets, uppermost 4–6 spikelets solitary on short (2–4 mm) pedicels; rachis, branches and pedicels with abundant small prickle-teeth especially on convex surfaces, longer prickle-teeth on margins. Spikelets 10–15 mm × 4.5 mm wide, of 4–6–(9) florets. Glumes unequal, keeled with prickle-teeth above, centrally green-bronze, margins pale membranous, ciliate; lower 3.4–5 mm, 1-nerved, triangular acute, upper 4.5–7 mm, 3-nerved, long triangular acute to obovate acute. Lemma (4.5)–6–7 mm, lobes small (0.05 mm) or 0, rounded below becoming keeled above, sparsely scabrid on margin below and near awn; awn (0.5)–1–2 mm. Palea (5)–6–7 mm, frequently > lemma, apex deeply (0.5–0.7 mm) bifid, ciliate, keels toothed ½-⅔ or more, interkeel hairs above, margins of flanks ciliate above. Callus 0.2–0.3 mm, margins sparsely bearded, articulation ± flat. Rachilla 1–1.2–1.5 mm, abundantly short stiff hairy. Lodicules 0.8–1.1 mm, > ovary, often hair-tipped. Anthers 2.5–3.75 mm, yellow or purpled. Gynoecium: ovary 0.5–0.75 mm, hispid hairs at apex; stigma-styles 1.8–2.5 mm. Caryopsis 3–3.5 mm; embryo 0.5 mm; hilum 2–3 mm.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)
Connor, H.E. 1998: Festuca (Poaceae: Gramineae) in New Zealand 1. Indigenous Taxa. New Zealand Journal of Botany 36: 329–367.
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]