Carex raoulii


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

Common Name(s)

Coastal forest sedge, Raoul's sedge

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 - Data Deficient


Carex raoulii Boott



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



C. macmahoni Petrie


Endemic. North and South Islands. Exact distribution uncertain.


Sedge of coastal and lowland shrublands.


Densely tufted, tussock-forming, dark-yellow green/wine-red sedge. Culms 50-90cm × 0.5-1mm, 3-angled (trigonous), scabrid below inflorescence, greatly elongating at maturity, sometimes 3 m long. Basal sheaths dark grey-brown. Leaves < culms 2-4 mm wide, double-folded, soft, grassy, margins finely scabrid. Inflorescence of 5-7 unstalked, closely, clustered 1-4 cm x 4-7 mm spikes, arranged at top of culm, proximal portion of terminal spike female, basally male, remaining spikes all female. Glumes (excluding awn) = or < utricles, very broadly ovate, apex often cleft, membraneous, colourless with few small red brown lines, pale cream midrib extending beyond to form finely scabrid awn. Utricles 2-3 × 1.5 mm, Plano-convex, elliptic-obovoid, light reddish brown, usually with distinct pale brown nerves, slightly winged, usually scabrid on margins, and on both surfaces of upper half. Beak 0.5-1 mm long, bifid, orifice finely scabrid. Stigmas 2. Nut c.1.5 mm, biconvex, obovoid, light to dark brown.

Similar Taxa

Allied to a distinctive, apparently unnamed (C.C. Ogle pers. comm.) sedge which is common throughout the sand country and coastal cliffs and shrublands of the western North Island, as well as locally present elsewhere. That sedge (known by the tag name C. "raotest") differs from C. raoulii by the terminal spikelets all male. This is sometimes subtended by a reduced female spikelet.


No information available


No information available

Propagation Technique

Easily grown by division and from fresh seed.


Because of frequent confusion with the somewhat similar Carex ‘raotest’ the exact distribution and status of Carex raoulii is unclear. It is certainly less common than indicated by Flora 2, which included the very common C. ‘raotest’ within C. raoulii. Present indications are that C. raoulii might be rather uncommon.

Chromosome No.

2n = 46

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).


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