Carex carsei


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

Common Name(s)

Carses 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 - Declining
2004 - Data Deficient


2012 - DP
2009 - DP


Carex carsei 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. In the North Island known from near Lake Taupo, and wetlands around Tongariro National Park. In the South Island throughout in suitable habitats, though scarce in Canterbury, Otago and Fiordland.


An sub alpine to alpine sedge of boggy ground, mires, and wet forest clearings.


Rhizomatous sedge, forming dense, grassy swards in swampy places. Rhizomes 1 mm diameter, light brown or grey. Culms 2.5-89.5(-25) cm × 0.5-1 mm, 3-angled (trigonous) or compressed below, stiff, erect, hairless, enclosed for much of length by grey or cream leaf-sheaths. Leaves culms, 1-2.5 mm wide, channelled, grass-like, yellow-green, linear, narrowed to a subobtuse tip, margins finely scabrid (toothed). Inflorescence of 3-5 spikes, clustered together in a compact head, terminal spike male, small, unstalked, remaining spikes female, stalked, overtopping male 1-1.5 cm long. Glumes much < than utricles, broadly ovate, acute, membraneous, faintly multi-nerved, pale yellow-brown with a green midrib. Utricles 7-8.5 × 2 mm, plano(flat)-convex to subtrigonous, narrowly lanceolate, multi-nerved, light green to greenish-brown, hairless, tapering to a 3-3.5 mm long beak. Beak bifid, with a finely scabrid orifice. Stigmas 3. Nut 2 mm long, obtusely 3-angled, obovoid, glossy, light yellow-green.

Similar Taxa

Carex carsei is a very distinctive species unlikely to confused with any other indigenous or naturalised sedge.


No information available


No information available

Propagation Technique

Easily grown by division and from fresh seed.


Carex carsei has very few recent (>1980) collections

Chromosome No.

2n = 36

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family





Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (10 August 2006). 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 18 Jun 2015