Connorochloa tenuis

Common Name(s)

prostrate bluegrass

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

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 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Data Deficient


2012 - DP
2009 - DP


Connorochloa tenuis (Buchanan) Barkworth, S.W.L.Jacobs, et H.Q.Zhang



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Agropyron scabrum var. tenue Buchanan, A. tenue (Buchanan) Connor; Elymus tenuis (Buchanan) Á.Löve et Connor


Endemic. In the North Island known from the Volcanic Plateau and Ruahine Range. In the South Island known from North-West Nelson, Marlborough and east of main divide.


A species of open short tussock (Festuca) dominated grassland from sea-level to 900 m.


Prostrate, bronze-leaved grass. Upper culm (stem) internode greatly elongating after flowering and trailing along ground. Leaf-sheath 5-7 cm, hairless. Ligule 0.25-0.3 mm, very finely hairy. Leaf-blade 10-15 cm × 2 mm, bronzed, flat, sometimes rolled, smooth. hairless, ribbed, undersides with small prickle-teeth. Culm to 2 m or more, slender, trailing along ground, upper internode elongating after flowering, sometimes up to 1.5 m. Inflorescence wheat-like 10-15 cm, containing up to 15 spikelets. Awn 15-35 mm. Seed 4.5-5 mm. Description adapted from Edgar & Connor (2000).

Similar Taxa

Connorochloa tenuis can be distinguished from all other indigenous Elymoid grasses by the easily detached culm trailing the ground, by the uppermost internode greatly elongating following flowering, by the spikelets being appressed to the inflorescence stem, and by the anthers 2-3 mm long, coloured uniformly yellow. Connorochlora it is morphologically most similar to some species of Anthosachne, differing from them in being octoploid and its combination of basal leaves that are 1–1.5(-2.0) mm wide, upper glumes that have 1.3–6.5 mm long awns, and straight lemma awns (9-)15(–35) mm long. Connorochloa is a new, monotypic genus established by Barkworth et al. (2011).


No information available

Flower Colours



No information available

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from divisions of whole plants and from fresh seed.


As large parts of its former range have become increasingly overwhelmed by introduced pasture grasses, observations suggest that Connorochloa has declined. However, there have been no serious attempts to quantify this decline making an accurate conservation assessment impractical. This species should probably be assessed as Data Deficient.

Chromosome No.

2n = 56

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Florets are dispersed by wind and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange May 2004. Description adapted from Edgar & Connor (2000).

References and further reading

Barkworth, M.E.; Jacobs, S.W.L. 2011: The Triticeae (Gramineae) in Australasia. Telopea 13: 37-56.

Edgar, E.; Connor, H.E. 2000: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. V. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 29 Jul 2016