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Chionochloa flavicans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Chionochloa
Zotov, 1963
Type species
Chionochloa rigida
(Raoul) Zotov

Chionochloa is a genus of tussock grass in the grass family, found primarily in New Zealand with one known species in New Guinea and another on Lord Howe Island (part of Australia).[1][2] Some of the species are referred to as snowgrass.[3]

Most of the species in the genus grow in clumps, some up to 1.5 m tall. Red tussock dominates the tall tussock grasslands on the volcanic mountains of the North Island of New Zealand and can also be found in areas on the northern half of the South Island. Snow tussock, of which there are several species, can be found above the tree line together with other species.[4]


formerly included[5]

see Rytidosperma


  1. ^ Zotov, Victor Dmitrievich 1963. Synopsis of the grass subfamily Arundinoideae in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 1: 78–136
  2. ^ Connor, H. E. 1991. Chionochloa Zotov (Gramineae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 219–282.
  3. ^ Orsman, H. W. (1999). The Dictionary of New Zealand English. Auckland: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-558347-7. 
  4. ^ Edgar, E & Connor, H.E. (2010). Flora of New Zealand , ed. 2, 5: 1-650. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington
  5. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  6. ^ The Plant List search for Chionochloa