Scientific Name:
Poa cita Edgar, New Zealand J. Bot. 24: 446-448, Fig 21 (1986)
  • Poa caespitosa Spreng. in Biehler, Pl. Nov. Herb. Spreng. 7, no. 10 (1807) nom. illeg., non Poa caespitosa Poiret 1804
  • = Poa laevis var. β filifolia Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 307 (1853)
  • = Poa caespitosa var. leioclada Hack. in Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 908 (1906)
  • = Poa caespitosa var. planifolia Petrie, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 47: 58 (1915)
Vernacular Name(s):
silver tussock; Wī

Dense rather shining tussock, 30–100 cm, sometimes hanging down steep banks and up to 2 m, with light brownish green sometimes glaucous leaves smooth to the touch; branching intravaginal; leaf-blades persistent. Leaf-sheath pale green, later creamy brown, shining, ± membranous, smooth, or very minutely scabrid throughout, ribs inconspicuous. Ligule c. 0.5 mm, truncate, short-ciliate, abaxially minutely hairy. Leaf-blade (10)–20–60 cm ×c. 1–1.5–(2.5) mm, folded or ± flat, coriaceous, abaxially glabrous, midrib and lateral ribs not very prominent, adaxially closely minutely pubescent throughout; margins inrolled, scabrid, midnerve scabrid near acicular, often pungent tip. Culm (10)–20–50–(70) cm, ≤ leaves, internodes smooth to scabrid below panicle. Panicle (5)–10–20–(25) cm, open; branches slender, ± erect to spreading, sparsely to very closely scabrid, naked below, spikelets many on shorter secondary branchlets. Spikelets (3.5)–6–9 mm, (2)–3–5-flowered, light green to later light brown. Glumes subequal, (2)–3.5–5–(6) mm, acute to subacuminate, sparsely minutely scabrid to smooth, midnerve with sparse prickle-teeth in upper ½; lower 1–(3)-nerved, narrow-lanceolate, upper 3–(5)-nerved, elliptic-lanceolate; margins membranous with scattered fine prickle-teeth above or almost throughout. Lemma 3–5–(6) mm, 5-nerved, elliptic-oblong, obtuse, minutely scabrid, midnerve with long crinkled hairs in lower ½, scabrid above, outer lateral nerves with crinkled hairs near base; margins membranous, sparsely minutely scabrid. Palea (2)–3–4 mm, keels densely ciliate-scabrid, interkeel minutely scabrid to pubescent-scabrid, flanks short-scabrid. Callus with tuft of crinkled hairs. Rachilla c. 1 mm, scabrid or with occasional hairs. Lodicules c. 0.5 mm, occasionally hair-tipped. Anthers (1)–2–3 mm. Caryopsis c. 1 × 0.5 mm. 2n= 84. Plate 7D.

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

Indigenous (Endemic)
Biehler, J.F.T. 1807 [30 May]: Plantarun Novarum ex Herbario Sprengelii Centarium.
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]
Edgar, E. 1986: Poa L. in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 24: 425–503.
Hooker, J.D. 1853: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Petrie, D. 1915: Descriptions of New Native Phanerogams, with other Short Notices. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 47: 48–59.