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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

29. Atropis, Rupr

29. Atropis, Rupr.

Annual or perennial grasses. Leaves linear, flat or plicate or convolute ligules hyaline. Spikelets 3-to many-flowered, narrow, laterally compressed or almost cylindric, in open or contracted panicles rhachilla disarticulating above the two outer glumes and between the flowering glumes, glabrous, produced beyond the uppermost flower. Two outer glumes persistent, broad, empty, unequal, rounded on the back, 1–3-nerved. Flowering glumes broad, oblong, obtuse, rounded on the back, 5-nerved, nerves often obscure. Palea nearly as long as the flowering glume, 2-keeled. Lodicules 2, large, ovate, usually distinct. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous; styles wanting; stigmas plumose. Grain enclosed in the hardened flowering glume and palea, oblong, almost semi-terete hilum small, basal, punctiform.

A small genus of 12 or 14 species, mostly from the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It differs from Poa principally in the flowering glumes being rounded on the back, not keeled.
Panicle contracted, lax; branches distant. Spikelets ¼–⅓ in., 5–9-flowered. Empty glumes very small 1. A. stricta.
Panicle contracted, dense branches close. Spikelets ¼ in., 4-flowered. Empty glumes longer, half the length of the spikelet 2. A. novæ-sealandiæ,

A. pumila,T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xiv. (1882) 379, is Triodia pumila,Hack.

1. A. stricta,Hack. MSS.—Annual. Culms tufted, strict, erect, quite glabrous, leafy, 3–4-noded, the uppermost node below the middle, 6–18 in. high. Leaves sheathing almost the whole of the page 915culm, narrow, setaceously involute, strict, erect, quite smooth; sheaths pale, lower rather lax; ligules ovate, membranous. Panicle slender, contracted when in flower, 3–6 in. long; branches very unequal, in distant fascicles of 2–5, strict, erect in flower, spreading in fruit, simple or sparingly branched. Spikelets alternate on the branchlets, narrow, almost terete, pale, ¼–⅓ in. long, 5–9-flowered. Two outer glumes very unequal, the lower narrow-ovate, acute, 1-nerved, not half the length of the flowering glume above it; upper twice as long as the lower, oblong, subacute, 3-nerved. Flowering glumes oblong, obtuse and hyaline at the tips, distinctly 5-nerved, but the nerves disappearing below the tip, quite smooth and glabrous. Palea shorter than the glume, linear-oblong, ciliolate along the keels. Lodicules distinct. Anthers oblong, about 1/40 in. long.—Glyceria stricta, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 304; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 336; Fl. Tasm. ii. 123, t. 162B; Benth. Fl. Austral. vii. 658; Buch. N.Z. Grasses, t. 41A.

Var. suborbicularis, Hack. MSS.—Flowering glume much broader than in the type, in outline almost orbicular. Leaves weaker and thinner.

North and South Islands: Not uncommon in brackish-water marshes from the Bay of Islands southwards to the Bluff. Var. suborbicularis:Near Oamaru, Petrie!

Also in Australia and Tasmania. The northern A. distans,Griseb., which is closely allied to A. stricta, is naturalised in several localities. It is not nearly so strict, the leaves are flatter, the panicle not so contracted, and the spikelets are much smaller.


A. novæ-zealandiæ, Hack. MSS.—Annual, pale whitish-green. Culms densely tufted, erect, quite glabrous, leafy, 3–4-noded, the uppermost node much above the middle, 4–14 in. high. Leaves sheathing the whole of the culm, strict, erect, complicate, striate; sheaths compressed, usually longer than the blades, grooved; ligules broad, membranous, hyaline, irregularly toothed at the tip. Panicle 2–6 in. long, erect, contracted, dense, pale whitish-green; branches in fascicles of 2–7, very unequal, short, smooth, erect. Spikelets numerous, sessile or shortly pedicelled, about ¼ in. long, 4–5-flowered. Two outer glumes slightly unequal, about ½ the length of the whole spikelet; lower narrow, lanceolate, acute, 1-nerved, sometimes with a short lateral nerve on each side upper broader and more obtuse, 3-nerved. Flowering glumes oblong or oblong-ovate, obtuse and hyaline at the tip, with sometimes an obscure notch on each side, 5-nerved, glabrous or slightly hairy on the back near the base. Palea as long as the glume, linear-oblong, minutely bidentate at the tip, ciliolate on the nerves. Lodicules distinct. Anthers linear-oblong, about 1/20 in. long.—Poa Walkeri, Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xvii. (1885) 224. Glyceria novæ-zealandiæ, Petrie, in. Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxxiii. (1901) 329.

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South Island: Brackish-water marshes on the south coast of Otago, Kirk! Petrie! Stewart Island: East Coast, local, Kirk!

Easily distinguished from the preceding by the stouter habit, denser panicle with shorter branches, smaller pale whitish-green spikelets with fewer florets, much larger empty glumes, and narrower and more pointed flowering glumes.