Carex silvestris


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

Common Name(s)

Forest 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



Brief Description

Carex silvestris (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 silvestris Hamlin


Endemic. New Zealand, North Island (Pureora and the Kaimai Range south), South and Stewart Islands


Lowland to upper montane forest. Often rather local and probably warranting listing as Naturally Uncommon/Sparse.


Bright green, densely caespitose plants. Culms 200.0-400.0 × c.0.5 mm, glabrous; basal bracts light cinnamon-brown or yellow-brown, not shining. Leaves 4-5 per culm, ± = or slightly > culms, 0.5-2.0 mm wide, bright green, tapering to a long filiform tip, scabrid on margins and on upper surface towards leaf-tip. Spikes 35-100 × 2–3 mm, often bracteate with the leaf-like bract much > spike, female flowers c.10–20, internodes 3-5 mm long towards base of spike, 1-2 mm long above. Glumes much < utricles, persistent, ovate, acute or subacute, membranous, very faintly nerved, midrib pale green. Utricles 3.5-5.0 mm long, slightly < 1 mm diameter, plano-convex, concavo-convex or subtrigonous, oblong or ovoid-lanceolate, light green, rarely greenish brown, membranous, few-nerved or smooth, stipe c.1 mm long, narrowed above to a distinct beak 1.0-1.5 mm long

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from all other species with persistent glumes by the glabrous culms and glumes which are conspicuously shorter than the utricles( see also Carex egmontiana (Hamlin) K.A.Ford)


October - November


November - February

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of established plants. Prefers a permanently moist, peaty soil but will grow in most substrates. Best in semi-shade.


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).

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