Carex edgariae


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

Common Name(s)

Edgars Sedge

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Sparse


2012 - Sp
2009 - DP


Carex edgariae Hamlin



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. South Island where confined to western Central Otago especially between Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu.


A species of montane to subalpine tussock grassland where it growsin wet flushes, seepages and in damp sites near rock overhangs.


Reddish-green to wine-red, shortly rhizomatous, tufted sedge. Rhizome 1-1.5 mm diameter. Culms 20-150 x 1 mm, cylindrical, glabrous; shorter culms almost hidden with grey-brown to light yellow-brown leaf sheaths. Leaves > or occasional < culms, 1-2 mm wide, concavo-convex, margins and rarely the keel scabrid toward leaf apex. Inflorescence of 3-6 approximate, sessile spikes. Lowermost spike in well grown plants often distant; terminal spike male, glumes ovate, usually entire, creamy brown; remaining spikes female, clustered round base of male spike, 5-10 x 3-4 mm. Glumes for about ½ length of the utricles ovate, almost hyaline with light red-brown striations, midrib cream, scabrid at the apex, apex occasionally extended as a minute awn. Utricles 1.5-2.5 x 1 mm, ovoid-ellipsoid, cream at the base with red-brown to black markings on the upper half, nerves distinct in lower half, margins glabrous; beak minute up to 0.3 mm long, crura entire or minutely bidentate, finely scabrid; stipe usually minute or up to 0.5 mm long. Stigmas 3. Nut 1 x 1 mm, dark grey-brown, obovoid, trigonous with rounded angles.

Similar Taxa

Perhaps closest to C. libera (Kük.) Hamlin which is endemic to North West Nelson and differs most notably by the red-tipped rather than black-tipped utricles, and by the glumes of female spikelets being about the same length, rather than half the length of the utricles. The glumes of male spikelets are creamy brown and usually entire in C. edgarae, while those of C. libera are usually reddish-brown and distinctly awned.


September - December


October - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown in a pot or sunny damp site in a garden. Tolerant of a wide range of soil types and conditions. The reddish green foliage and dark red-brown to black utricles make this a particularly attractive sedge.


A biologically sparse, naturally uncommon species that appears to be more under collected than it is actually threatened.

Chromosome No.

2n = c.60

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).



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 29 May 2014