Apodasmia similis


Apodasmia: From the Greek apodasmios meaning 'separated', referring to the widely disjunct distribution of the species (there are two species in Australia, one in New Zealand and one in Chile) (Briggs & Johnson, 1998)
similis: similar to another species

Common Name(s)

jointed wire rush, oioi

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


Apodasmia similis (Edgar) Briggs et L.A.S.Johnson



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

Rushes and Allied Plants


Leptocarpus similis Edgar


Endemic. Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.


Mostly coastal in estuaries, saltmarshes, dunes and sandy flats and hollows. Occasionally inland in gumland scrub, along lake margins, fringing peat bogs or surrounding hot springs.


Dioecious, rush-like perennial herb. Rhizomes 3-7 mm diameter, covered in closely sheathing, imbricating, dark brown scales, 10-20 mm long, each enclosing a tuft of coarse brown hairs. Culms numerous, 0.5-2.6 x 1.5-2.5(-3.0) mm, densely packed, erect, sometimes with upper third decurved to more or less pendulous, simple, terete, glaucous, grey-green, yellow-green or red-green. leaves reduced to bract-like sheaths, these dark brown or maroon-black, regularly spaced at 70-90 mm intervals at the base of the culm, 10-60 mm apart higher up; margins entire. Male inflorescences, paniculate or fascicled, bearing numerous stalked spikelets; upper floral bracts ovate-lanceolate, mucronate, red-brown to maroon, margins membranous; tepals 6-4 more or less completely hyaline, the outer longer, brownish, the inner shorter, paler; stamens 3; ovary rudimentary. Female inflorescences fascicled, spikelets more or less sessile; upper floral bracts ovate, mucronate, > tepals; tepals 6, the outer keeled, lanceolate, acuminate, inner flat, smaller, more or less hyaline, more obtuse, mucronate; styles 3, united to midway, bright red to orange-red; staminodes 0. Fruit c.1x 0.5 mm, triquetrous, indehiscent. Seed c.1 x 0.4 mm, oblong-elliptical, golden-brown, surface reticulate, both ends apiculate, one end dark brown, the other, almost white.

Similar Taxa

Easily distinguished from Sporadanthus F.Muell and Empodisma L.A.S.Johnson et D.F.Cutler by the unbranched, mostly grey-green, or reddish stems bearing regularly spaced bract-like, sheathing dark brown or maroon-black leaves, and terminal, many-flowered, paniculate to fascicled male and female spikelets.


October - December

Flower Colours

Brown,Red / Pink


December - March

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and rooted pieces. Does well in a range of soils and moisture regimes. Requires full sun to flourish. Now a very popular tub and traffic island plant in some cities - most material seen is from the Chatham Islands.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 48

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Fruit are possibly disperesed by water and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from mainstream plant and specialist native plant nurseries. Most stock seen is of the large, glaucous Chatham Island form.

Cultural Use/Importance

Needs critical comparison with Apodasmia chilensis (Gay) B.G.Briggs et L.A.S.Johnson , particularly the Chatham Island plants which seem a close match for that South American species.



Description adapted from Edgar and Moore (1970).

References and further reading

Briggs, B.G. & Johnson, L.A.S. (1998) New genera and species of Australian Restionaceae (Poales). Telopea 7: 345-373. http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/73237/Tel7Bri345.pdf

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. 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 4 Dec 2014