Carex minor


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
minor: smaller

Common Name(s)

Bastard Grass, Hook Sedge

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Carex minor (Kük.) K.A.Ford



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Uncinia angustifolia Hamlin; Uncinia rupestris Raoul var. planifolia Kük.


Endemic. New Zealand. North, South and Stewart Islands. In the North Island from Central Volcanic Plateau south (common around Wellington), on the other islands rather locally distributed and often absent.


Coastal to upper montane. In forest, along forest margins and in scrub


Dark green, loosely tufted plants. Culms few, 100.0-350.0 × c.0.3 mm, glabrous, 1–2 mm diameter at base (including sheathing bracts); basal bracts light to dark brown, not shining. Leaves 3-4 per culm, < culms, from slightly > 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm wide, dark green, strongly scabrid on margins and upper surface. Spike 20-50 × 2-3 mm, occasionally bracteate, female flowers 5-12, internodes up to 4 mm long at base of spike, 1.5-2.0 mm long above. Glumes usually c.½ length of utricles, deciduous, ovate, acute or acuminate, hyaline with green midrib. Utricles 3.5-5.0 × c. 1 mm, trigonous, green to grey-brown, lateral nerves strongly developed, otherwise smooth, occasionally spreading when mature, beak 1.0-1.5 mm long, stipe c.1 mm long

Similar Taxa

Very similar to Carex horizontalis (Colenso) K.A.Ford from which it chiefly distinguished by its much smaller overall stature, although the line of demarcation is not rigid and intergrades occur. While elsewhere this species is sympatric with C. horizontalis it would appear that it is the only species present in the immediate Wellington area. From Carex horizontalis, C. minor is further distinguished by its very early flowering time (September to October cf. October to November in C. horizontalis)


September - October


November – December

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of established plants - though these may take a while to settle. Prefers a permanently damp, shaded site in a deep rich soil.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 88

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available



Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970). Fact sheet prepared by Peter J. de Lange 17 August 2006.

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 26 Aug 2015