Carex sectoides


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

Common Name(s)


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 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - RR


Carex sectoides (Kük.) Edgar



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class



Carex appressa R.Br. var. sectoides Kük.; Carex secta Boot var. sectoides (Kük.) Cheeseman


Endemic. Chatham and Antipodes Island groups.


Widespread along stream, lake and pond margins and in seepages, flushes, and around shallow ephemeral pools. Usually in open, well lighted situations but also may be fringing streams running through successional forest.


Robust, tussock forming sedge up to 2 x 1 m, arising from a stout trunk-like base (comprised of densely interwoven former roots) up to 1 m tall. Culms 0.15-1.8 m x 2-3 mm, triquetrous, margins razor sharp, scabrid, robust, curved over toward apices; basal sheaths grey-brown. Leaves = to or < culms, 5-8 mm wide, deeply channelled, with strongly scarbid, razor-sharp margins. Inflorescence a broad, heavy, greyish-brown to brown panicle 70-80 mm long, with numerous stiff, crowded branchlets up to 40 mm long, the lowermost usually distant. Spikes numerous, more or less sessile, red-brown, 4-5-flowered, male flowers at apex. Glumes > utricles, ovate-lanceolate, acute or lower glumes of spike awned, brownish-hyaline, faintly nerved, with a paler brown thickened midrib. Utricles 2.5-3.8 x 1-1.8 mm, unequally biconvex, elliptic-ovoid, smooth on curved face, very faintly nerved on the flatter face, light yellow-brown, later dark brown, more or less shining; beak 1 mm long, strongly bifid, with green, winged, strongly scabrid on margins; stipe 0.5 mm long. Stigmas 2. Nut slightly < 2 mm long, biconvex, narrow-obovoid, pale grey, greyish-white to white.

Similar Taxa

Allied to C. secta Boott from which it differs by its much larger, stouter over all habit, and denser more rigid, crowded inflorescences with shorter branchlets. On Chatham (Rekohu) Island C. sectoides is symaptric with C. secta.


September - December


December - June

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Prefers cool climate and does best in standing water. Does not tolerate humidity or drought. On account of the very sharp leaf and culm margins care is needed when handling this sedge.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = c.64-68

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