Scientific Name:
Poa maniototo Petrie, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 22: 443 (1889 [1890])
The epithet maniototo refers to the type locality (Maniototo Plain).
Vernacular Name(s):
Desert poa

Small, compact, greyish perennial tufts, < 10 cm, with densely crowded rigid leaves overtopped by slender flowering culms; branching intravaginal; leaf-blades disarticulating at ligule. Leaf-sheath much wider than leaf-blade, membranous, glabrous, ribs distinct, lower sheaths whitish straw-coloured, shining, upper greenish. Ligule consisting of 2 lobes at either side of leaf-blade, 0.5–1 mm, much shorter or 0 across leaf-blade, finely ciliate, abaxially with sparse minute hairs; usually extending as a rim-like minutely ciliate contra-ligule, to 0.2 mm. Leaf-blade 0.25–1.5 cm, inrolled, to 0.5 mm diam., stiff, often curved, grey-green, glabrous, ribs distinct; margins and curved tip scabrid. Culm 1.5–8 cm, longer culms often bearing a single cauline leaf c. midway, internodes glabrous. Panicle 0.5–1.5 cm, compact, oblong, spike-like; branches and pedicels very short, sparsely scabrid. Spikelets c. 2–3.5 mm, 3–5-flowered, silky greyish green to greyish purple. Glumes ± equal, 1.5–2–(2.5) mm, 3-nerved, glabrous; lower narrow-elliptic, subobtuse, upper ovate-elliptic, obtuse. Lemma c. 1.5–2–(2.5) mm, faintly 3–5-nerved, elliptic, subobtuse to obtuse, shortly finely pubescent almost throughout, ± glabrous near tip or rarely throughout, margins wide membranous above. Palea c. 1.5–(2) mm, ± tangled pubescent throughout. Callus with small tuft of short crinkled hairs. Rachilla minute, c. 0.2–0.3 mm, minutely hairy; prolongation twice as long. Lodicules 0.2–0.3 mm. Anthers 0.2–0.4 mm. Gynoecium: ovary 0.4 mm; stigma-styles 0.75 mm. Caryopsis c. 0.5–1 × 0.3 mm. 2n= 28. Plate 7F.

[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]
Edgar, E. 1986: Poa L. in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 24: 425–503.
Petrie, D. 1890 ("1889"): Descriptions of New Native Plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 22: 439–443.