Carex zotovii


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
zotovii: after Victor Dmitrievich Zotov (1908 - 1977), one of New Zealand's most eminent botanists who studied the vegetation of NZ high country and the classification of NZ grasses. He also completed a detailed study of the vegetation of the Tararua Range.

Common Name(s)

Zotovs Bastard Grass, Zotovs 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 zotovii (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 zotovii Hamlin


Endemic. New Zealand: North Island, South Island (mainly Nelson, Otago and Southland), Stewart and Chatham Islands.


Coastal to montane (up to 1000 m a.s.l.) usually on ridge lines in tall forest, favouring well drained but moist soils. Rarely in tall scrub. Carex astricta K.A.Ford


Plants rather open, widely spreading, pale yellow-green tufts; tufts often with only 2–3 distant culms per plant. Culms drooping or nodding, 300–600 mm long, < 1 mm diameter, trigonous, glabrous, often scabrid just below inflorescence, basal bracts light brown. Leaves 4–6 per culm, < mature culms, 2–5 mm wide, soft, scabrid on margins and on adaxial surface towards apex. Spikes 40–80 x 3–6 mm, often bracteate, clavate, male part of spike us. c.1 mm. diameter and 1/5 to ¼ length of whole spike, female flowers 12–32, lax towards base of spike with internodes 4–8 mm long, more crowded above with internodes 0.5–1.0 mm long. Glumes ± = utricles, deciduous, ovate, acute or acuminate, hyaline with green midrib or brownish. Utricles 5.0–6.0 x c.1.5 mm, trigonous or triquetrous, ovoid, usually smooth except for a prominent lateral nerve, but occasionally with a few less distinct nerves, green to grey-brown, stipe 1.0–1.5 mm long, beak 1–2 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Carex zotovii is most similar to Carex horizontalis (Colenso) K.A.Ford and Carex minor (Kük.) K.A.Ford. From Carex horizontalis it can be distinguished by its wider (2.5-5.0 cf. 1.5-2.0 mm), pale green to yellow-green, rather than dark green leaves, loosely tufted, spreading and more open growth habit, with fewer culms rather than the erect, many-culmed, densely tufted growth habit typical of Carex horizontalis. Carex minor is superficially similar but the glumes in the lower part of the spike are > utricles. In C. zotovii the glumes are equal to or < utricles in the lower part of the spike, and in mature spikes the utricles spread out at 90º from the rachis, while those of C. minor a stay contracted.


October - December


November - May

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