Nature conservation

Threatened species

Feldmark Grass - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Rytidosperma pumilum
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 21 Sep 2021


Feldmark Grass is an inconspicuous tufted grass. Its leaves grow to only about 3 cm tall, and its flowering stems to about 7 cm tall. The leaves have broad, papery sheaths and are often curved or spirally twisted. The two to four spikelets, which are held against the flowering stem, each contain two to four flowers.


Felmark Grass is limited to a tiny area - about 3ha - of the Main Range of Kosciuszko National Park between Mt Northcote and Mt Lee. This species also occurs in alpine parts of New Zealand.

Habitat and ecology

  • Feldmark Grass is found only in the feldmark - the sparse low vegetation of the bare rocky alpine slopes and ridges, one of the harshest environments in Australia. There is little snow cover in winter because the prevailing westerly winds blow it off into lee snow patches. The absence of snow cover means that extremely low temperatures and strong winds are experienced for long periods during winter. Surface soil temperatures are high in summer and soil moisture levels are often limiting at that time.
  • Judging from its habit and habitat, distribution and preferred habitat, this species presumably resprouts following disturbance, is remarkably tolerant of low temperature and has a limited capacity for dispersal of seeds to other areas of similar habitat nearby.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known Above 2000 m altitude