Carex strictissima


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
strictissima: very straight and narrow

Common Name(s)

Bastard grass, hook sedge

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered

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 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Endangered


2012 - DP
2009 - DP


Carex strictissima (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 strictissima Petrie; Uncinia rigida Petrie non Boeck., U. rubra var. rigida (Petrie) Cheeseman, U. rubra var. strictissima Kuk


Endemic. In the North Island known only from the Central Volcanic Plateau. In the South Island it apparently has an easterly distribution, being recorded from the Nelson lakes, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.


Lowland scrub, swamps, lake margins and in damp clears within lowland forest.


Dark olive-green to red-green rush-like sedge, forming dense tufts. Culms 300-550(-700) mm x 1 mm, initially trigonous and scabrid but maturing as terete and smooth (except for just under the inflorescence). Basal bracts dull dark brown. Leaves much reduced, inrolled or flat, 1-2 mm wide, rigid, strongly nerved, scabrid on margins, midrib bright red. Spikes 30-100 mm long, subtended by a reddish filiform bract > spike. Female flowers 10-15, distant in longer spikes, internodes up to 14 mm long at base but decreasing to 3 mm toward apex. Glumes < or = utricles, persistent, obtuse or subacute, green to light brown, tinged pink. Utricles 6-7.5 x 2 mm, plano-convex, nerved, light brown, often pink near apex, stipe and beak up to 15 mm long.

Similar Taxa

A distinctive species perhaps most closely allied to Carex erythrovaginata K.A.Ford from which it differs by the unusual, erect rush-like growth form and by the usually inrolled, (1)-2-3, 1 mm wide leaves.


October to December


November to May - but as the inflorescence is long persistent, fruits may be present all year round.

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and the division of whole plants. Prefers cool, damp ground but once established will tolerate drought. Excellent in semi-shade.


Herbarium specimens indicate that this was never a common species. However, it is clear that it has declined over large parts of its range, and it is now very close to extinction in the North Island. The species seems to be threatened by habitat loss as a result of weed invasion and by animal browse.

Chromosome No.

2n = 88

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



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