Rytidosperma nivicola (Vickery) H.E. Connor & E. Edgar. New Zealand J.
Bot. 17: 332 (1979). Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily
Danthonioideae. Tribe Danthonieae.
Replacement Name: Danthonia
nivicola Vickery, Contr. New South Wales Natl. Herb. 1: 300 (1950).
Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information: HT: Vickery s.n., Australia (NSW; IT: CANB,
Recent synonyms: Notodanthonia nivicola, Danthonia nivicola,
Danthonia pulvinorum, Rytidosperma
(books and floras):  D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of
Australia (as R. nivicolum),  S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley &
D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (362).
 K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3 (Fig.
12, I-J),  S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of
New South Wales, 4th edn (362).
Perennial. Rhizomes present, short. Culms erect, stature slender to delicate,
10–20 cm tall, 2–3 -noded. Mid-culm nodes glabrous. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on
surface. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades filiform, involute, 5–10 cm
long, 0.5–1 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth, glabrous.
Inflorescence solid, a panicle. Panicle linear, 2–3 cm long.
Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets many flowered, with at least 2 fertile
florets (4–5), comprising 4–5 fertile floret(s), with diminished florets at the
apex, cuneate, laterally compressed, 4.5–8 mm long.
similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 3–5 -nerved. Upper glume lanceolate, 8 mm long, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 3–5 -nerved.
Fertile lemma 1.3–4 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma surface indumented.
Lemma apex lobed, awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn from a sinus, 1–2.7
mm long overall, without a column or with a straight or slightly twisted
column. Lateral lemma awns absent. Lodicules present. Anthers 3. Grain 1.2–1.4
Distribution: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania.
New South Wales:
Southern Tablelands. Victoria: Snowfields. Tasmania: West Coast,
Central Highlands, Ben Lomond, South West.
nivicola is related to R. nitens, from which it differs by its stiff
inflorescence and the constant presence of lateral lemma tufts. R. nivicola
also approaches R. nudiflorum, and although most specimens can be
readily separated by the larger spikelets, longer lemma setae and straighter
leaves which are persistent on the sheaths, there are some that appear to be
intermediate (e.g. Sonnenberg in MEL602230).
areas from Mt Kosciusko to Tasmania, altitude 850–1950 m, sphagnum bogs and wet
alpine grasslands; or in sand or gravel among rocks along streams, rarely in
dry alpine grassland; often associated with R. nudiflorum in sod tussock
grassland. Flowers Jan.