Included here is New Zealand (North and South islands), Stewart Island and a multitude of smaller islands.

Neozeylandic Festuca-Poa Tussock-Grassland

Natural or semi-natural examples of this habitat are confined to uplands, stony montane valleys and the flat parts of the Volcanic Plateau, but it is absent in the north of North Island. A number of apparently primeval grasslands possibly owe their existence to the pre-historic burning of forest by the Maori. The dominant tussock species are Poa caespitosa and the endemic Festuca novae-zelandiae (Poaceae). Tussocks can reach 40 cm in height and often touch one another concealing many of the ground layer species. Altogether over 200 indigenous plant species have been recorded in these grassland include many endemic species. The most important and widespread of these are Aciphylla colensoi, Anisotoma aromatica, Oreomyrrhis colensoi (Apiaceae), Coprosma petriei (Rubiaceae), Craspedia uniflora, Helichrysum filicaule, Lagenifera petiolata, Raoulia subsericea, Vittadinia australis (Asteraceae), Discaria toumatou (Rhamnaceae), Epilobium hectorii (Onagraceae), Leucopogon fraseri (Ericaceae), Plantago raoulii (Plantaginaceae), Primelea prostrata (Thymelaeaceae), Ranunculus multiscapus (Ranunculaceae), Viola cunninghamii (Violaceae) and Wahlenbergia albomarginata (Campanulaceae). However, these are often accompanied by a number of exotic species today.


Allan, H. H. 1927. The vegetation of Mount Peel, Canterbury, N. Z. part 2. The Grasslands and other Herbaceous Communities. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, 57: 73-89.

Cockayne, L. 1958. The Vegetation of New Zealand. H. R. Engelmann (J. Cramer).

Laing, R. M. 1918. The vegetation of Banks Peninsula with a list of species (flowering-plants and ferns). Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, 51: 355-408.

Molloy, L. 1994. Wild New Zealand. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.