Grasslands occur throughout the world and are only absent from Antarctica. As you would expect, they are areas dominated by grasses (that is plants of the Poaceae family). Non-woody plants and sedges and rushes may also be found in grasslands and in some parts of the world (such as the savannas of central of Africa) woody plants and trees may also be present.

New Zealand grasslands are dominated by a range of species including species of Festuca (especially Festuca novae-zelandiae, hard tussock), Poa (especially Poa cita, silver tussock), Chionochloa (especially Chionochloa flavescens subsp. flavescens, C. rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra and C. pallens subsp. pallens) and Rytidosperma (especially Rytidosperma setifolium, bristle tussock).

There are various types of grassland, not all of which occur in New Zealand:

For more information see*:

  • Grasslands (Wikipedia)
  • Grasslands (University of California Museum of Paleontology)
  • Edgar E, Connor HE 2000. Flora of New Zealand Volume 5 Gramineae. Lincoln, New Zealand, Manaaki Whenua Press.
  • Sharp D, Simon BK 2002. AusGrass (Grasses of Australia). Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra (ABRS), CSIRO Publishing.
  • Wardle P 1991. Vegetation of New Zealand. Chapter 9 Grassland and herbfield. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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This page last updated on 26 Sep 2012