Carex dallii


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

Common Name(s)

Dalls Sedge

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 - Sparse


2012 - DP
2009 - DP


Carex dallii Kirk



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



Carex gibbsii Petrie


Endemic. New Zealand; South Island (North West Nelson, Westland and Otago)


Montane to subalpine in damp depressions, swamps and mires in forest and scrub.


Shortly rhizomatous; slender, dull red sedge with ± distant tufts. Rhizome c.1 mm diameter, closely covered by dark red striated bracts. Culms elongating when mature to c.500.0 × c.0.5 mm, glabrous, flattened or subterete; basal sheaths light brown or reddish, nerves ± distinct. Leaves c. ¾ length of culms, 1–2 mm wide, channelled, narrow-linear, margins scarcely scabrid at base with well-spaced teeth towards the tip. Spikes 3-4(-5), the uppermost ± approximate, sessile, the 1(-2) lowest often much more distant and on a long filiform peduncle; terminal spike male; remaining spikes female, 5-15 × 2-5 mm, rarely with a few male flowers at the base; subtending bracts leaf-like, > inflorescence. Glumes ± = or slightly < utricles, ovate, red-brown, midrib usually paler brown, but occasionally darker brown, margins scarious, tips usually emarginate with a short but rather broad scabrid awn. Utricles 2.0-3.0 × 1.0-1.5 mm, subtrigonous, narrow-ovoid, or almost oblong, light brown below, dark red-brown above, surface smooth or faintly nerved, margins smooth, slightly narrowed towards a beak < 0.5 mm long with a shallow bidentate scabrid orifice, somewhat contracted at the base to an extremely short stipe. Stigmas 3. Nut c. 2 mm long, trigonous, oblong-obovoid, light brown.

Similar Taxa

Carex dallii is most similar to C. traversii Kirk, which also has reddish coloured leaves. However, C. traversii is an ultramafic endemic confined to the eastern Nelson mineral belt. From that species C. dallii is distinguished by its absence from ultramafic rocks, larger size, and by its channelled rather than plano-convex leaves.


October - December


December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Does best in full sun, in a permanently damp soil. The dark reddish leaves are rather attractive. An excellent pot plant.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = c.42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available.


Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (10 August 2006). 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.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 18 Jun 2015