Machaerina rubiginosa


rubiginosa: rust-coloured

Common Name(s)


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


Machaerina rubiginosa (Spreng.) Koyama



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



Fuirena rubiginosa Spreng.; Cladium globeratum R.Br.; Cladium rubiginosum (Spreng.) Domin; Baumea rubiginosa (Spreng.) Boeck.


Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Also New Guinea, New Caledonia and Australia


Coastal to montane (up to 900 m a.s.l.) in most freshwater wetlands; especially favouring low moor peat bogs, the margins of restiad bogs and their burn pools, more rarely on the margins of lakes, tarns and slow-flowing streams where it may grow with Machaerina arthrophylla.


Glaucous to bright-green, rhizomatous sedge. Rhizome 2–4 mm diameter, horizontal, shortly creeping, wiry, fibrous, covered with a loose coat of closely imbricating papery scales. Culms 0.3–1.2 m tall, 1.0–2.5 mm, terete, soft, light blue-green, darkly glaucous or bright-green. Lower leaves reduced to grey-brown, membranous, mucronate sheaths; upper leaves 1–3, terete like the culms, < or ± = culms, internally septate, tips subulate, acute. Inflorescence a panicle, 60–350 mm long, rounded at the tip, interrupted, with branchlets in distant fascicles, stoutest lateral branchlet arising from lowest spathaceous bract c.1 mm diameter; bracts subtending upper fascicles acuminate, membranous, red-brown. Spikelets 4.5–6.0 mm long, clustered, red-brown, 2–4-flowered, 1 or occasionally 2 flowers fertile. Glumes 4–5, ovate, acuminate, membranous, streaked with red, margins ciliate, scabrid towards the tip and on the keel. Nut 3.0–4.0 x c.1.5 mm, elliptic-oblong, pale- or orange-yellow, smooth, trigonous while immature; beak small, grey or black, acute, trigonous, puberulous.


October - December


Throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of whole plants - though plants may take some time to settle. Although it prefers an acidic, permanently damp soil, plants can be grown in free draining soils and once established will tolerate dry spells reasonably well.


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Nuts are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (8 September 2006). Description adapted from Moore & 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 16 Jan 2017