Carex fascicularis


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

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2018 - At Risk - Declining

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

2012 - Not Threatened
2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Carex fascicularis Boott



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 forsteri Wahl. var. fascicularis (Boott) Hook.f.; Carex pseudocyperus L. var. Fascicularis (Boott) Boott


Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands. In the north abundant to about the Waikato then scarce to about Mokau. In the South Island known only from Rarangi. Present also in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.


Coastal to lowland in freshwater wetlands, under willow in gully systems, along river and stream banks, lake margins, and in damp seepages, pond margins and clearings within forest. Preferring fertile to mid-fertile wetlands.


Stout, tufted, somewhat soft, pale green to yellow-green sedge. Culms 0.6-1.1 m tall, 1.5-2.5 mm wide, triquetrous, very finely scabrid; basal sheaths grey. Leaves rather > culms, 4-13 mm wide, double-folded, with prominent cross-veinlets on lamina and sheath. Spikes 4-6; uppermost 1(-2) spikes male; remaining spikes female, 20-70. × 8–11 mm, usually slightly < male spikes, ± distant, pedunculate, pendulous. Glumes (excluding awn) c.½ length of utricle, lanceolate, light brown, margins of upper half fimbriate or lacerate, midrib produced to a scabrid awn ± = glume in length. Utricles 4.0-6.0 × 1.0-1.5 mm, subtrigonous or inflated and biconvex, ovoid, distinctly nerved, light green, strongly reflexed; beak 1.5-2.0 mm long, entirely glabrous; stipe c.1 mm long, abruptly narrowed. Stigmas 3. Nut 1.5-2.0 mm long, trigonous with thickened angles, obovoid, pale yellow-brown.

Similar Taxa

Carex fascicularis is easily recognised by its stout culms; pale green to yellow green wide leaves; prominent cross-veinlets on sheaths and leaves; initially pendent spikelets, very short glumes with lacerate or fimbriate margins; and by the submembranous, strongly nerved, glabrous, spreading utricles. There are only two other carices in New Zealand with cross-veinlets, the indigenous C. maorica Hamlin and naturalised C. lurida Wahlenberg. Carex maorica differs from C. fascicularis by the female spikes mostly sessile rather than pendent, and normally clustered at one level near the base of the male spike rather than mostly distant to ± approximate (but then never clustered at one level round base of male spike). Carex lurida is a much larger sedge than either species (up to 2.5 m tall) and has utricles 6-9 × 2-4 rather than 4.0-6.0 × 1.0-1.5 mm


October - December


November - May

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Although a wetland species C. fascicularis will grow well in most soils and moisture regimes. Does best in full sun.


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).


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