Carex crispa


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 crispa 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 involuta Hamlin


Endemic. New Zealand: North (Mt Egmont and Ruahine Range), South (North-West Nelson, Mt Arthur, Nelson, Otago and Fiordland) and Stewart Islands.


Upper montane, subalpine to alpine. In grassland or scrub, very rarely in open forest


Tufted, bright-green to yellow-green plants. Culms 100-300 × c.0.5 mm, subtrigonous or terete, glabrous; basal bracts dull brown. Leaves 4-7 per culm, < culms, c.1 mm wide, ± stiff, involute, or flatter and up to 1.5 mm wide, bright green, usually curled at the tips, faintly scabrid on margins and adaxial surface towards leaf-tip. Spikes 30-55 × 2-5 mm, occasionally bracteate, female flowers 6-20, rather close-set, internodes 1-3 mm long. Glumes much > utricles at base of spike, = utricles above, deciduous, ovate, acute or acuminate, membranous, light brown with a green to brown midrib. Utricles 4.0-5.0 × 1.0-1.5 mm, trigonous, ovate, widely spreading when ripe, green to light brown, shining, the lateral nerve always prominent, otherwise smooth or faintly nerved, contracted below to a conspicuous stipe slightly > 1.0 mm long, slightly tapered above to a beak c.1 mm long

Similar Taxa

Carex crispa is easily recognised by the leaves which have twisted/curled apices (cirrhose) and are involute (incurved) and by the glossy utricles. It is perhaps most similar to Carex astricta K.A.Ford which has flat or v-shaped, non cirrhose leaf apices, and dull utricles.


October - December


November - March

Propagation Technique

Very easy from divisions of whole plants and from seed. Does best when planted in full sun in a fertile, free draining but moist soil. Excellent in pots.


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