Carex longifructus


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
longifructus: From the Latin longus 'long' and fructus 'fruit'

Common Name(s)

Bastard grass, hook 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 - DP, Sp
2009 - DP


Carex longifructus (Kük.) K.A.Ford



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



Uncinia longifructus (Kük.) Petrie; Uncinia tenella var. longifructus Kük.


Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known from the Raukumara, Ruahine and Tararua Ranges. In the South Island locally known from Nelson, Marlborough, Westland, Canterbury, North Otago, said to be more common in Fiordland.


A species of shaded slopes and peaty hollows within montane forest and subalpine scrub. Exact habitat preferences are not known.


Somewhat flaccid-leaved, openly caespitose, stoloniferous, rather long-spreading sedge. Stolons rather fine, < 0.5 mm diameter. Culms 30-200 x 0.5 mm, rather rigid, glabrous, basal bracts very light brown or straw coloured. Leaves 3-7 per culm, rather flaccid, equal to or < culms, slightly < 1 mm wide, involute to channelled, involute when dry, midrib distinctly thickened and paler, lamina with margins scabrid near leaf apex. Spike 10-15 x 2-4 mm, female flowers 5, close-set, internodes 1-1.5 mm long. Glumes slightly < or equal in length to utricles, deciduous, lanceolate, acute, membranous to chartaceous, midrib pale green. Utricles 4.5-5.5 x 1 mm, trigonous with a prominent lateral nerve, or subtrigonous and almost smooth, elliptic-lanceolate, olive-green, spreading when ripe, stipe indistinct, scarcely narrowed, up to 1 mm long, beak tapering, 1.5 mm long.

Similar Taxa

A distinctive species distinguished from other New Zealand hook sedges, by the very narrow tapered leaves, and rather short spikes with relatively long utricles. In Flora II of the New Zealand Flora Series, Carex longifructus (as Uncinia longifructis) keys out near C. drucei (Hamlin) K.A.Ford (as Uncinia drucei) from which it differs by its leaves being < 1 mm rather than > 1 mm wide, and by the olive-green rather than dark brown coloured utricles. Uncinia drucei prefers drier forested habitats and rock outcrops than the deep moss, mossy peat shaded habitats preferred by C. longifructus. It is also a much less spreading, more shortly stoloniferous plant than C. longifructus. Exact relationships amongst the New Zealand hook sedges have yet to be determined, and will almost certainly require a full phylogenetic analysis.


October - December


October - May

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably easily grown in a moist, peaty soil.


Believed to be a naturally uncommon, ecologically sparse species. However it is poorly known from large parts of its reported range. Further survey to ascertain its exact status is much desired.

Chromosome No.

2n = 88

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.



Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970). Fact sheet prepared by Peter J. de Lange 17 August 2006.

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 26 Aug 2015