Carex goyenii


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

Common Name(s)

Goyens 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 goyenii Petrie



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





Endemic. New Zealand: South Island throughout but scarce in Westland and absent from Southland.


Montane to alpine. In dense beech forest, on alluvial terraces in forest and scrub or in damp places in tussock grassland.


Stiffly erect to spreading, tufted yellow-green sedge, 0.25-1.00 m tall. Culms 100-450 × 1–2 mm, trigonous, slightly scabrid; basal sheaths dark brown. Leaves much > culms, 3.5-6.0 mm wide, double-folded, coriaceous, margins scabrid. Spikes 4-8, the uppermost approximate, the lower 2-3 often more distant; 1(-2) terminal spikes occasionally male, but more often partly or almost wholly female; remaining female spikes 15-40 × 4-7 mm, cylindrical, sessile or shortly pedunculate. Glumes c. 2/3 length of utricles, ovate, often emarginate, brown, membranous, with a pale brown midrib produced to a short scabrid awn. Utricles 3.0-4.0 × c.1.5 mm, plano-convex to unequally biconvex, ellipsoid or obovoid, faintly nerved to distinctly ridged, pale greenish brown spotted with fine red-brown striae, slightly narrowed to a < 1 mm long with scabrid margins and orifice. Stigmas 2. Nuts slightly < 2 mm long, plano-convex, oblong or obovoid, dark brown.

Similar Taxa

The usually stiffly erect to stiffly spreading yellow-green leafy tufts, double-folded leaves, equidistant, short, stout, barrel-shaped spikes, and pale brown, membranous glumes are especially diagnostic of this usually montane to subalpine species. Carex goyenii has no obvious close relatives.


October - December


November - June

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Excellent for a permanently damp situation in a shaded site but will tolerate full sun and dry conditions once established. The yellow-green foliage is especially attractive.


Not Threatened

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 (110 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