Carex astricta


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

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 astricta 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 caespitosa Boott, Uncinia caespitosa Boott var. collina Petrie


New Zealand: North, South and Stewart Islands from about the Hauhangaroa and Raukumara Range south


Montane forest, forest margins and damp sites within grassland. Descending to sea level in southern part of its range


Weakly tufted, dark green to yellow-green plants. Culms 40.0-400.0 × 0.5-1.0 mm, glabrous; basal bracts dull dark brown or chestnut-brown. Leaves 6-11 per culm, < or = culms, 2-4 mm wide, rather stiff, often curved, dark green to yellow-green, rather flat but with midrib evident on abaxial surface, scabrid on margins and adaxial surface. Spikes 25-90 mm long, often bracteate, subclavate, 4-5 mm diameter in the female portion of spike, male portion more slender, usually conspicuous, c.2 mm diameter and 1/3-¼ the length of the whole spike; female flowers 10-35, almost all closely crowded, internodes 1-5 mm long. Glumes > utricles in lower part of spike, = utricles above, deciduous, ovate or subulate, acute or acuminate, membranous, greenish brown or light brown, usually striated, midrib green with 3 distinct nerves, later becoming dark brown. Utricles 5.0-7.0 × 1.5-2.0 mm, trigonous, broadly ovoid, 1.0-1.5 mm long, beak 1-2 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Carex astricta shares with C. crispa K.A.Ford and C. horizontalis (Colenso) K.A.Ford brownish glumes which in the lower part of the spike are longer than the utricles. It differs from Carex crispa by its virtual restriction to forested habitats, by the leaf apices which are flat rather than curled/twisted (cirrhose) and by the dull rather than shiny utricles. From Carex horizontalis it differs by its preference for forested rather than tussock grassland and herbfield habitats, yellow-green to dark-green rather than bright green leaves with flat, rather than v-shaped leaf apices, and spikes which are greater than 40 mm long rather than 30 mm or less.


October - November


November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of established plants - though these may take a while to settle. Prefers moist soil in a a semi-shaded site. However, once established will tolerate a wide range of conditions except waterlogging.


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