Scientific Name:
Hierochloe equiseta Zotov, New Zealand J. Bot. 11: 568 (1973)
Vernacular Name(s):
holy grass

Fairly robust, lax tufts. Leaf-sheath glabrous, ± striate, mostly deep purple. Ligule c. 0.5 mm, abaxially hairy. Collar rather thick, often hairy. Leaf-blade 15–30 cm × 4–8 mm, tapering, abaxially glabrous, adaxially abundantly hairy on prominent flat-topped ribs; margins toothed. Culm 30–60 cm, internodes glabrous, ridged. Panicles 8–15 cm, very lax and spreading; branches mostly binate at each node, glabrous, naked below, slender, drooping, spikelets few towards tips; pedicels to 10 mm, scabrid to villous above. Glumes subequal, ovate, subacute, membranous, margins wide scarious above, keel prickle-toothed above or glabrous; upper 6–8 mm, 3-nerved. Florets > lower glume, ♂ florets light brown to brown, ☿ floret paler, often golden and glistening at maturity. ♂ florets: lemma 5–6 mm, oblong, subacute, lobes 0.5–1 mm, villous below, scabrid above, margins densely long-ciliate; awns of both florets ± equal, rather stout, column 2–3.5–5 mm twisted, arista 3–4–(5) mm, insertion c. 2 mm above base of lemma; palea c. 4 mm, membranous, apex bifid, keels finely ciliate, interkeel hairy; lodicules 1.2–2.0 mm, ± ovate, acute, irregularly lobed, ciliate; callus hairs to 1 mm; anthers 2.3–3.4 mm. ☿ floret: lemma 3.5–4.5 mm, ovate, long hairs on keel below, finely scabrid and with long hispid golden brown hairs exceeding apex, muticous or subapically mucronate 0–0.5 mm; palea ≈ lemma, ovate-lanceolate, keel short hairy above; lodicules 1–1.8 mm, ciliate; anthers 1.1–2.5 mm; gynoecium: ovary 1 mm, stigma-styles 3.5–6 mm; caryopsis 2–2.5 × 0.75 mm, embryo 0.5 mm, hilum c. 0.75 mm.

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

Indigenous (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]
Zotov, V. D. 1973: Hierochloe R. Br. (Gramineae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 11: 561–580.