Festuca novae zelandiae

Drainage:DampVery DryWell Drained
Height Range:0.7
Site Conditions:CoastalExposedFrost TolerantHeavy SoilLoamy SoilSandy SoilWindy
Spread Range:0.7
Sunlight:Full Sun
Features:Attractive foliageAttractive to insectsEvergreenSuitable for Revegetation Species
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Festuca novae-zelandiae, an upright and fine-leaved tawny tussock, is a prevalent feature in low tussock grasslands across the dry, windy, and cold plains of Canterbury and Otago. This grass is deeply rooted and tends to dominate steep, exposed slopes. In alpine regions at lower altitudes, Festuca novae-zelandiae often coexists with the narrow-leaved snow tussock (Chionochloa rigida), creating a striking visual impact when planted en masse, like through the Lindis Pass. The needle-thin, erect leaves range in color from green to blonde, showcasing their stunning appearance. This grass exhibits a remarkable tolerance for poor soil and dry conditions.

The tawny leaves measure between 15 and 60 cm in length, with a width of 0.5-1 mm. They have a rough texture, culminating in sharply pointed tips, and their margins are tightly rolled, presenting a cylindrical appearance. The flowering stems, reach up to 70 cm in height.

Found in short tussock grasslands, Festuca novae-zelandiae once covered extensive areas of the eastern South Island up to elevations ranging from sea level to approximately 800-900 meters.

This evergreen and hardy grass not only contributes to the visual allure of its natural habitat but also thrives in adverse conditions, making it a resilient and enduring presence in the landscape.

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