Carex kaloides


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

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


Carex kaloides 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. South Island in the east from Marlborough to Central Otago.


Montane to subalpine along river flats, in seepages, around the margins of lakes, ponds and tarns. Sometimes found in cushion bogs and amongst Red Tussock (Chionochloa rubra Zotov) dominated wetlands. Easily overlooked because its orange yellow leaves blend in with the surrounding vegetation.


Rhizomatous; orange yellow, reddish-yellow to orange, tufted swarding sedge. Individual tufts often rather large and tussock-like. Rhizome 5 mm diameter, woody, covered in closely appressed, dark-brown, fibrous leaf-sheath remnants. Culms rising singly from rhizome, 0.3-1 m x 1 mm, at first stiffly erect, then arching and more or less spreading in upper third; trigonous, glabrous below, very finely scabrid on the angles close to the inflorescence; basal sheaths dull dark grey-brown to yellow-brown. Leaves < culms, 100-600 x 1-3.5 mm, channeled, keel well-marked, margins scabridulous near apex. Inflorescence erect, 50-180 mm long, usually compound or in large plants paniculate with distant appressed branchlets. Spikes 10-35, pale straw-coloured, usually distant, lower spikes and branchlets typically subtended by a chartaceous, long-awned bract with both keel and awn scabrid; lowermost bracts often leaf-like, > panicle in length. Spikes mostly male with perfect flowers near apex, or with mostly female with male flowers near the apex or in rare cases entirely male. Glumes > utricles, lanceolate, acuminate or awned, membranous to chartaceous, light creamy brown with a pale cream centre and rather broad hyaline margins. Utricles 4-5 x 1 mm, plano-convex, finely nerved; beak tapering, 1.5-2 mm long, winged with serrated margins; stipe 1 mm long, not contracted. Stigmas 2. Nut 2 mm, dark brown, plano-convex to biconvex, oblong, smooth.

Similar Taxa

Perhaps closest to C. muelleri Petrie which differs from C. kaloides by its smaller stature, more extensively creeping swarding habit, strictly erect whitish-green, yellow-green to green tufted culms and leaves, creeping habit, and narrowly erect almost dioecious spicate inflorescences. The utricles of C. muelleri are much smaller, narrower and rather more strongly nerved.


October - January


October - May

Propagation Technique

Easily grown by division of whole plants and fresh seed. Does best in permanently damp ground and is an ideal plant fro growing around ponds or along slow flowing stream margins in the South Island. It dislikes much competition and is intolerant of drought or excessive humidity.


A biolgoically sparse, naturally uncommon species which at times can be locally abundant but is otherwise scarce. Does not appear to be threatened, and can tolerate cattle browsing. However it may suffer through competition from faster growing, taller, weed species.

Chromosome No.

2n = c.78-84

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.


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 30 May 2014