Carex aucklandica


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
aucklandica: of the Auckland Islands

Common Name(s)

Subantarctic Hook Grass

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - DP, RR


Carex aucklandica (Hamlin) 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 aucklandica Hamlin


Endemic. New Zealand: South (South Otago, Fiordland), Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands


forest and shrubland from sea level to 900 m a.s.l. Occasionally extending into tussock grassland (Poa/Chionochloa) where it has been found sympatric with U. hookeri on the Auckland and Campbell Islands


Slender tufts, shoots < 1mm diameter at base (including sheaths), often rather distant from an ascending rhizome < 1 mm diameter. Culms 50-400 mm long, much < 0.5 mm diameter, glabrous; basal bracts dull, dark reddish brown. Leaves 4–7 per culm, ± = culms, 0.5–1 mm wide, yellow-green, scabrid on margins and adaxial surface towards the long filiform tip. Spikes 25-50 × 2-3 mm, occasionally bracteate, female flowers c. 10-20, internodes to 5 mm long at base of spike, 1.5-2.0 mm long above. Glumes = or slightly < utricles, deciduous, ovate-lanceolate, subacute, membranous, pale cream or brown with a green midrib. Utricles 5-6 mm long, slightly < 1 mm diameter, plano-convex or subtrigonous to trigonous, narrow oblong-lanceolate, light green, shining, nerved but often very faintly so on the two abaxial surfaces, usually erect when ripe, slightly narrowed to a stipe 1.0-1.5 mm long, beak gradually tapered, only slightly narrower than utricle, 1.0-1.5 mm long

Similar Taxa

Carex aucklandica is closely allied to C. erebus K.A.Ford from which it chiefly differs by its weakly stoloniferous, less markedly tussock-forming growth habit, narrower leaves and spikes, and by the lighter coloured, mature utricles which remaining tightly clasping the inflorescence axis rather than spreading widely.


November - December


December - February

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants (though these may then take a while to settle). Prefers a shaded site, and should be planted within a deep, rich, free draining but permanently moist 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