Lachnagrostis billardierei subsp. billardierei


Lachnagrostis: From "lachne" (wool) referring to the distinctive callus hairs of this genus and "agrostis" by which Trinius (1820) actually meant "a grass" (not an Agrostis). So the generic name means "a hairy (woolly) grass" not "a hairy (woolly) Agrostis" as is often incorrectly stated (see Gardner 2014).
billardierei: Named after Jacques Houttou de Labillardiere (1755-1834), 19th century French botanist who described several New Zealand plants

Common Name(s)

sand wind grass

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Lachnagrostis billardierei (R.Br.) Trin. subsp. billardierei



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class



Agrostis billardierei R.Br., Deyeuxia billardierei (R.Br.) Kunth, Calamagrostis billardierei (R.Br.) Steud.


Indigenous. Common throughout New Zealand and Australia


Mainly coastal (rarely inland). On sand dunes, cobble and boulder beaches, on cliff faces, in free draining sites along estuarine river banks, and fringing coastal ponds and lagoons. Sometimes on limestone or calcareous sandstone bluffs well inland.


Stiffly tufted, glaucous to bluish-green perennial grass, 100-600 mm tall, with capillary-branched panicles sometimes overtopped by leaves. Branching intravaginal. Leaf-sheath papery, with wide membranous margins, closely striate, smooth but sometimes scaberulous above on nerves, light brown to amber. Ligule 1.0-4.5 mm, tapered above, entire to erose, undersides scabrid. Leaf-blade 50-240 x 2.5-10.0 mm, flat, harsh, scaberulous on ribs and on margins throughout, more or less abruptly narrowed to firm, more or less blunt, more or less cucullate apex. Culm 40-400 mm, erect, or decumbent at base, included within uppermost leaf-sheath, internodes densely finely scabrid. Panicle 60-240 x 100-240 mm, purple-green to wine-red, lax, with long, whorled, ascending branches, later spreading and panicle becoming as broad as long; rachis and branches scaberulous, spikelets single at tips of ultimate panicle branchlets, on pedicels thickened above. Spikelets 4-6 mm, pale green, purple-green or red-green. Glumes 1-3-nerved, narrow-lanceolate, acuminate, usually smooth, sometimes sparsely scabrid, margins wide, hyaline, mid-nerve scabrid. Lemma 3-4 mm, more or less two-thirds length of glumes, smooth, or often scabrid above (especially on nerves), membranous, shining, elliptic-lanceolate, lateral nerves excurrent to short awns 0.5-1.0 mm long; central awn 4.5-9.0 mm, fine, geniculate from lower third of lemma 9rarely middorsal). Callus hairs more or less dense, very short, 0.3-0.7 mm, c. one-tenth length of lemma. Rachilla prolongation 0.5-1.0 mm, tipped by a thick tuft of hairs 1.0-1.5 mm and more or less equivalent in length to palea. Lodicules slightly > 0.5 mm, lanceolate, acute. Anthers 0.5-1.0 mm. Seed 1.3-1.8 x 0.5-0.8 mm.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from the other New Zealand species by the intravaginal branches; by the flat leaf-blades, 2.5-10 mm wide; by the spikelets 4-6 mm long; and by the glabrous lemma that is smooth below and often scabrid on the nerves,


August - February


December - June

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Best in full sun.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 56

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy: Not commercially available.





Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange 14 April June 2005. Description modified from Edgar & Connor (2000)

References and further reading

Edgar, E.; Connor, H.E. 2000: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. V. Grasses. Christchurch, Manaaki Whenua Press. 650 pp.

Gardner, R.O. 2014: Notes on the wind grass Lachnagrostis filiformis (Poaceae). Auckland Botanical Society Journal 69: 168-170.

Trinius, C.B. 1820: Fundamenta Agrostographiae. J.G.Huebner, Vienna.

This page last updated on 7 Feb 2017