Carex erebus


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

Common Name(s)

Hookers Bastard 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 - RR, SO


Carex erebus 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 hookeri Boott; Uncinia riparia R.Br. var. hookeri (Boot) Kük.


Indigenous. New Zealand: Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Islands. Also present on Macquarie Island


Mostly found in tussock grassland, usually at altitudes of 300- 600 m a.s.l. Also growing amongst seal colonies at sea level. rarely extending into forest on the Auckland Islands.


Dense, stiff tufts arising from a slender stoloniferous rhizome c. 1mm diameter Culms 40-250 × c. 0.5 mm, glabrous; basal bracts dark brown. Leaves 5-9 per culm, much >> flowering culms but usually only slightly < fruiting culms, 1.5-2.0 mm wide, dark green, rigid, involute, scabrid on margins and upper surface towards tip. Spikes 10-35 × c.3 mm, greenish brown, female flowers c. 10-20, crowded towards top of spike with internodes 1-3 mm long, more distant in lower third of spike with internodes up to 4 mm long. Glumes ± = or slightly > utricles, deciduous, lanceolate, acute, membranous, light or dark brown, usually with a prominent green midrib and two very dark brown lateral veins, margin pale brown. Utricles 4-5 mm long, slightly < 1 mm diameter, trigonous or subtrigonous, oblong or lanceolate, light green, nerved, occasionally only faintly so on the two abaxial surfaces, slightly contracted at the base to a stipe c.1 mm long, beak 1.0-1.5 mm long; strongly spreading when ripe

Similar Taxa

Carex erebus is closely allied to C. aucklandica (Hamlin) K.A.Ford from which it chiefly differs by its more markedly stoloniferous, densely tussock-forming growth habit, wider leaves and spikes, and by the darker coloured, mature utricles.


November - December


December - February

Propagation Technique

Can be 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