Lemma and glume


Plants perennial. stoloniferous. Culms 70-10 cm tall, 0.7-1.8 mm thick; nodes 2-5, sometimes more or less geniculate; internodes glabrous, smooth.

Leaves: sheaths 5-15 cm long, usually hairy, hairs 0.5-1 mm long, irregularly retrorse or erect, occasionally sheaths only sparsely hairy or glabrous; Auricles to 0.5 mm long,. often mingute, scarcely clasping. Ligules 0.3-1 mm long, erose. Blades 10-20 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, flat, with 9-12 veins; abaxial surfaces usually with hairs 0.5 -1 mm long, sometimes glabrous and smooth; adaxial surface usually with hairs 0.5 -1 mm long, sometimes scabridulous; margins usually smooth, sometimes scabridulous.

Inflorescences 10-20 cm long, with 15-30 solitary spikelets; rachis surfaces smooth, edges scabrous, extended 2-6 mm beyond the base of the distal spikelet; middle internodes 2-5 mm long.

Spikelets solitary,on 1-1.5 "stipes" if glumes absent [presumably the base of the rachilla];  6.5-10 mm long, with 1-3 florets.

Glumes usually absent, sometimes 1 or 2 developed, it so, thse 0-3(6) mm long, awnlike, 1-veined, scabrous. Calluses about 0.5 mm long, surrounded by short, stiff hairs. Lemmas 7-10 mm long, strigose, tip canaliculate, infrequently bifid, tapering into an awn 1.5-6 mm long. Paleas 5-7 mm long, shorter than the lemma; keels coarsely scabrous; intercostal region usually produced, sometimes retuse.

Lodicules 0.75-1 mm long. Anthers 1.5-2 mm long, often retained on top of the caryopsis. Caryopses  4-4.25 mm long.


NEW ZEALAND: Through most of the North Island, not in North Cape and infrequent in or absent from the central southern areas; throughout the South Island, from inland South Canterbury to Fiordland.


In forests an shrublands, occasionally in grassland, from sea level to 1300 m.


2n = 28, HW

Reproductive biology

Chasmogamous and cleistogamous.


Formal citation

Stenostachys gracilis (Hook. f.) Connor

The link is to TROPICOS which also provides information on the basionym and synonyms.


Connor, H.E. 1994. Indigenous New Zealand Triticeae: Gramineae. New Zealand Jornal of Botany 32: 125-154.