Microlæna stipoides, Br.
This is a common grass north of the Taupo country, becoming rather local in the southern part of the North Island, although it crosses Cook Strait and is found growing freely about Nelson. It is a nutritious grass, closely cropped by horses, cattle, and sheep, wherever it grows, and is taking its place in permanent pasture about Auckland and Wellington. On the shingle at the mouths of some of the small streams running into Cook Strait it is almost the only grass, and the first to commence a new growth after the winter rest.
About Wellington and Nelson it suffers slightly from the early frosts, but not to so great an extent as might be expected.
It grows with equal luxuriance on the light scoria soils and tertiary clays of the Auckland Isthmus, and, allowing for the difference of climate, in the Jurassic clays of Wellington and Nelson. Although it would yield rather less per acre than Rye-grass or Meadow-fescue, it commences to grow earlier in the season, and is of quicker growth after cropping, while it is adapted for a greater variety of soils than either. If we add to these good qualities, its high nutritious value, it must be allowed a high place amongst the best of our Native Grasses, and may be recommended for all permanent mixed pasture at low elevations in the North Island at least.