Silver Tussock (Poa cita) is one of the commonest of New Zealand's short tussock grasses.
Prior to European settlement, short tussock grasslands including silver tussock were the dominant grassland in New Zealand, and in Marlborough, tussock grasslands were common in dry, formerly forested areas in rain shadow that were burnt by Māori, such as areas of the Wither Hills. Following European settlement tussock grasslands were gradually replaced with exotic grasses that were more palatable to stock.
There are still significant areas of silver tussock around Marlborough, with a few plants remaining on the Wither Hills, with large areas in parts of the Awatere Valley and in the high country of some of the southern valleys of the Wairau Plain.
Silver tussock is cultivated as a popular garden plant due to its tolerance to a range of conditions.
The example shown, is in the Wither Hills Farm Park.
Location: Latitude: -41.568401 Longitude: 173.975754"
Image Date: 2/6/2019
Photographer: Christopher Cookson