Scientific Name:
Hierochloe recurvata (Hack.) Zotov, New Zealand J. Bot. 11: 566 (1973)
  • Hierochloe fraseri var. recurvata Hack. in Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 856 (1906)
  • Hierochloe alpina var. recurvata (Hack.) Zotov, Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 73: 235 (1943)
Vernacular Name(s):
holy grass

Robust, lax tufts, ± rhizomatous. Leaf-sheath glabrous, ± striate, mostly deep purple. Ligule c. 1 mm. Collar thick, glabrous, recurved. Leaf-blade 7–15 cm × 3–6 mm, tapering, glabrous to ± scabrid on both surfaces, adaxially shallowly ribbed; margins prickle-toothed. Culm 20–40 cm, internodes glabrous, ridged. Panicle 8–16 cm, very lax, spreading; branches glabrous, 1–2 at each node, slender, naked below, spikelets few towards tips; pedicels 1–5 mm, ± scabrid to villous below spikelet. Glumes obovate, subacute to obtuse, glabrous, often purplish with wide hyaline margins, 3-nerved; upper glume 4–6 mm. Florets > lower glume, brown, uppermost somewhat lighter, ± shining. ♂ florets: lemma 4–5.5 mm, oblong, lobes c. 0.5 mm, long villous, rounded, finely scabrid, margins long-ciliate; awns unequal, rather stout, awn of lower floret 1.5–3 mm, scarcely twisted or bent, awn of second floret 4–6 mm, column 2–3.5 mm, twisted below geniculate arista 2–3 mm, insertion 2–3.5 mm above base; palea 4–4.5 mm, keels hairy to base finely pubescent above; lodicules c. 1 mm, ± ovate, acute, irregularly 1–2-lobed often ciliate; callus hairs sparse to 1 mm; anthers 2.0–2.5 mm. ☿ floret: lemma 3.5–4.5 mm, ovate, glabrous below, finely pubescent above, usually long hairy at apex; awn rather stout, 2–3 mm, subapical; palea c. 3.5 mm, ovate-lanceolate, keels 2, hairy throughout, minutely scabrid above; lodicules 1–1.2 mm; gynoecium: ovary 0.75–1.25 mm, stigma-styles 3.75–4.75 mm; anthers 1.4–1.8 mm; caryopsis 2 × 0.75 mm, embryo 0.3–0.4 mm, hilum 0.5–0.75 mm.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)
Cheeseman, T.F. 1906: Manual of the New Zealand Flora. Government Printer, Wellington.
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.
Zotov, V.D. 1943: Certain Changes in the Nomenclature of New Zealand Species of Gramineae. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 73: 233–238.