Plants perennial. stoloniferous. Culms 70-10 cm tall, 0.7-1.8 mm thick; nodes 2-5, sometimes more or less geniculate; internodes glabrous, smooth.
Leaves: sheaths 5-15 cm long, usually hairy, hairs 0.5-1 mm long, irregularly retrorse or erect, occasionally sheaths only sparsely hairy or glabrous; Auricles to 0.5 mm long,. often mingute, scarcely clasping. Ligules 0.3-1 mm long, erose. Blades 10-20 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, flat, with 9-12 veins; abaxial surfaces usually with hairs 0.5 -1 mm long, sometimes glabrous and smooth; adaxial surface usually with hairs 0.5 -1 mm long, sometimes scabridulous; margins usually smooth, sometimes scabridulous.
Inflorescences 10-20 cm long, with 15-30 solitary spikelets; rachis surfaces smooth, edges scabrous, extended 2-6 mm beyond the base of the distal spikelet; middle internodes 2-5 mm long.
Spikelets solitary,on 1-1.5 "stipes" if glumes absent [presumably the base of the rachilla]; 6.5-10 mm long, with 1-3 florets.
Glumes usually absent, sometimes 1 or 2 developed, it so, thse 0-3(6) mm long, awnlike, 1-veined, scabrous. Calluses about 0.5 mm long, surrounded by short, stiff hairs. Lemmas 7-10 mm long, strigose, tip canaliculate, infrequently bifid, tapering into an awn 1.5-6 mm long. Paleas 5-7 mm long, shorter than the lemma; keels coarsely scabrous; intercostal region usually produced, sometimes retuse.
Lodicules 0.75-1 mm long. Anthers 1.5-2 mm long, often retained on top of the caryopsis. Caryopses 4-4.25 mm long.
NEW ZEALAND: Through most of the North Island, not in North Cape and infrequent in or absent from the central southern areas; throughout the South Island, from inland South Canterbury to Fiordland.
In forests an shrublands, occasionally in grassland, from sea level to 1300 m.
2n = 28, HW
Chasmogamous and cleistogamous.
Stenostachys gracilis (Hook. f.) Connor
The link is to TROPICOS which also provides information on the basionym and synonyms.
Connor, H.E. 1994. Indigenous New Zealand Triticeae: Gramineae. New Zealand Jornal of Botany 32: 125-154.