T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Chionochloa rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra (Red tussock)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Monocots
(unranked):        Commelinids
Order:        Poales
Family:      Poaceae
Genus:       Chionochloa
Species:     C. rubra
Sub species: Chionochloa rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra
Binomial name: Chionochloa rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra
Synonyms: Danthonia antarctica var. delta minor
Common name: Red tussock, Red snow grass,

New Zealand has 22 species of Chionocloa that are grasses endemic to New Zealand; this includes Chionocloa rubra which looks distinctively different from the rest. Chionocloa rubra is a tall brown reddish plant with slender leafs that clump together forming an arc shape. It grows in clumps up to 1–1.2m high.

Chionochloa rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra is a sub species and is a tall, slender, red tussock with crowded, erect, stiff, rush-like leaves. It grows in subalpine to alpine (rarely upper montane) areas.
Its habitat is tussock grasslands, boggy areas, tarns and open areas within subalpine scrub. It s endemic to New Zealand North Island from the Volcanic Plateau southwards. It is present in the South Island in Marlborough and North Canterbury where it is uncommon.

Photographed on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Elivation 1500