Carex parvispica


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

Common Name(s)

Bastard Grass, Hook Sedge

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Data Deficient

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 - Data Deficient
2004 - Sparse


2012 - Sp
2009 - Sp


Carex parvispica 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 sinclairii Boott in Hook.f.


Endemic. South Island in the east from near Tarndale, Malrborough south.


low montane to subalpine in wet or boggy ground within tussock grassland. In Otago it is often found at the base of tors, stream banks, or in seepages.


Blue-grey to dark green shortly rhizomatous, spreading, turf-forming sedge. Rhizomes 1-2 mm diameter. Culms 70-300 x 0.5-1 mm, erect, usually glabrous, though occasionally faintly scabrid just below inflorescence; basal bracts dull grey-brown. Leaves 6-9 per culm, blue-grey to dark green, < or rarely almost equal to culm in length, 1.5-4 mm wide, very stiff. Spikes 10-20 x 4-7 mm, oblong to obovate, ebracteate, male flowers obscured by larger surrounding female flowers; these 10-15 in number, close-set, internodes about equal. Glumes same length as utricles, persistent, ovate, obtuse or subacute, coriaceous, straw-coloured, rarely light greyish brown with abroad, pale green midrib, the central nerves thickened and conspicuous. utricles 4.5-6 x 1.5-2 mm, plano-convex, elliptical, coriaceous, grey-brown, nerved below and with a prominent lateral nerve, hispid on margins and both surfaces of upper half, beak and stipe scarcely narrowed, 0.5 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Very close to Carex subtilis K.A.Ford from which it differs by its much broader, rather stiff, blue-grey to dark green leaves, broader spikes and utricles. The utricles are more prominently nerved than those of U. elegans, while the glumes are invariably straw-coloured rather than dark brown or brown-tinged.


October - December


October - June

Propagation Technique

Has been cultivated. It is easily grown but rather slow to establish. Fresh seed germinates easily and plants can be grown by division. Its exact requirements are not clear, though it dislikes humidity and will not flower in northern New Zealand without cold treatment.


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 = 94, 96

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