Carex lachenalii subsp. parkeri


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

Common Name(s)


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 - RR, Sp
2009 - DP


Carex lachenalii subsp. parkeri (Petrie) Toivonen



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 parkeri Petrie


Endemic. South Island from Nelson to Fiordland.


Favouring high altitude sites (> 1000 m.a.s.l.) this sedge has been collected from damp seepages within tussock grassland, from cushion bogs and on the margins of streams.


Tufted sedge arising from a deeply rooted, ascending rhizome. Culms 30-200 x 1 mm, trigonous, wiry and pliant, glabrous, sometimes scabrid above; basal sheaths cream, grey or light brown. Leaves < culms, < 2 mm wide, somewhat striated, distinctly channelled or occasionally flat, graminaceous, apices obtuse to subacute, margins faintly serrulate towards the apex. Inflorescence a single dark brown terminal head, 8-15 mm long, composed of 2-4 contiguous spikes; subtending bracts scarcely different from glumes. Spikes 5-8 mm long, with male flowers confined to the base. Glumes equal to, or slightly less than utricle length, broadly ovate, obtuse to sub-acute, dark brown with lighter brown midrib and broad, pale brown, hyaline margins. Utricles 2.5-3 x 1.5 mm, plano-convex, oblong-ovoid, indistinctly nerved, margins glabrous, contracted to a narrow, dark brown or black beak 0.5-0.6 long, this puckered below to form a broad, pale brown stipe < 0.5 mm long. Stigmas 2. Nut 1.5-1.7 mm long, light brown, oblong-obovoid to almost orbicular.

Similar Taxa

Easily recognised by the very short glume-like bracts subtending the inflorescence, small red-brown spikes and the wingless, scarcely beaked utricles. It is perhaps closest to C. echinata Murray, which differs from C. lachenalii subsp. parkeri by the distant, greenish-brown, rather than red-brown, crowded spikes, and by the mature utricles which spread outwards in a stellate pattern rather than remain compact to form a narrow, terminal spike-like head.


October - December


October - April

Propagation Technique



Believed to be biologically sparse and naturally uncommon. However this sedge is not often collected, and further field work into its conservation status is needed.

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