Topic: Sand Tussock

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Sand Tussock has the National Threat Category of Gradual Decline (2005). The dunes at Te Arai provide an important home for this threatened plant.

Sand Tussock

Photo by Tony Silbery.

Sand Tussock (Poa billardierei)

A dune plant with yellow-green tussocks up to about 70 cm tall. Its leaves are  fine, rolled, and somewhat drooping (coarser than silver tussock). Initially green, often fading at tips to silver, and drying to golden-straw colour. The seed heads of Sand Tussock are no longer than its leaves; seeds relatively large, barley-like, leaving a characteristic zig-zag look to the remaining head when fallen. 


North Island, South Island, Chatham Island (apparently absent from Chatham Island now despite being formerly abundant). Also found in temperate Australia.  Habitat-Coastal dunes; sandy and rocky places near the shore, especially foredunes and dune hollows.

Biology Flowers in early summer, Fruiting in mid to late summer.

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