Carex resectans


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

Common Name(s)

Desert 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 resectans Cheeseman



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 inversa R.Br. var. radiata Cheeseman


Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands. Mainly easterly and uncommon in the North Island where it found from about the Hawkes Bay south.


Coastal to alpine. Usually on consolidated sand and alluvium in free draining usually very dry (though often seasonally flooded) habitats in short-tussock grassland, rough pasture, or in river beds or lake margins.


Rhizomatous; yellow-green to dark green sedge, usually forming a dense sward, or small circular patches. Rhizome 1.0-1.5 mm diameter, woody, much-branched, long-creeping, with shoots spaced singly and evenly along it, c.1 mm diameter at base. Culms 5-40 mm tall, completely hidden by the leaf-sheaths; basal sheaths light grey-brown or chestnut. Leaves much > culms, 20-100 × c.0.5 mm, plano-convex towards the tip, involute towards the base, wiry, margins scabrid especially towards the long trigonous tip. Inflorescence a pale green, compact head, 4-8 mm long, orbicular-ovate, with 1-3 crowded spikes, subtended by 2-3 leaf-like bracts. Spikes androgynous, few-flowered, male flowers 1-3 at base of spike, occasionally 0, female flowers 3-8. Glumes < or rarely = utricles, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, hyaline, keel stout, green, 1-3-nerved. Utricles 3-4 × 1.5-2.0 mm, plano-convex, prominently nerved, light brown; contracted above to a narrow green beak c.1.5 mm long, margins minutely toothed, orifice bifid; stipe not markedly contracted, c.0.1 mm long. Stigmas 2. Nut c.1.5 mm long, plano-convex, obovoid to almost orbicular, brown, shining, shortly stipitate

Similar Taxa

It is most similar to C. colensoi Boott and C. inversa R.Br. two other densely tufted, grass-like species from which it is easily distinguished by the long-creeping rhizome with the shoots spread evenly along it, culms sheathed by leaves for almost their entire length, few-flowered, minute inflorescences which are usually obscured within the surrounding foliage, and light brown nuts with a pale green, minutely toothed beak.


October - December


November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from the division of whole plants and from fresh seed. Best suited for a well drained, sunny site in dry climates. This species dislikes humidity and soon dies if kept to moist.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 58-60

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).


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