Scientific Name:
Setaria palmifolia (J.König) Stapf (1914)
Vernacular Name(s):
Palm grass; Pleated pigeon grass

Densely clumped perennials from short stout rhizome to c. 1 cm diam. Leaf-sheath coriaceous, rounded or slightly keeled, with numerous, spreading, stiff-acicular, tubercle-based hairs to 5 mm; margins densely ciliate or glabrous. Ligule ciliate, hairs to 15 mm, extending as a contra-ligule. Leaf-blade 40–75 × 4–8 cm, conspicuously plicate and palm-like, linear-elliptic, tapering to base, almost petiolate in lower leaves, sharply scabrid especially near and at margins, sometimes with soft hairs as well, tapering to long, acuminate tip. Culm 80–200 cm, terete, striate, with long hairs at nodes and often for some distance below nodes, internodes scabridulous below panicle and nodes. Panicle 25–60 ×c. 10–20 cm, very loosely branched, the longer branches pendulous; rachis almost smooth below, increasingly scabrid above, occasionally with scattered fine tubercle-based hairs; primary branches (3)–10–16 cm, scabrid, with shorter, scabrid branchlets bearing short-pedicelled, light green to purplish spikelets. Spikelets 3–4 mm, at least some, and usually the terminal one on each branchlet, subtended by a single antrorsely scabrid bristle (5–9 mm). Lower glume 1.5–2.5 mm, 5-nerved, upper 2–3.5 mm, c. ⅔-¾ length of spikelet, 5–7-nerved. Lower floret ♂ or Ø: lemma 5-nerved, acuminate; palea c. ½ length of lemma, hyaline, nerveless. Upper floret ☿: lemma chartaceous to crustaceous, apiculate, finely rugulose, convex; palea of same texture as lemma but with hyaline margins, keels glabrous, rounded; anthers 1.3–1.6 mm; caryopsis not seen.

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

Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.