Vascular – Native
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.
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic to the South Island. Known only from the Old Man Range and several sites on the flanks of the Central Otago block mountains. Specimens are needed to substantiate a 2004 report from the Arthur Range, NW Nelson. Pictures of these plants (above) appear to be similar to Carex enysii.
A shade-requiring sedge usually found at the base of rocky bluffs
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Rhizomatous sedge, forming diffuse matted patches. Rhizomes up to 0.5 mm diameter. Basal sheaths red-brown. Leaves 2-4 = or slightly < culms, 0.2 mm wide, concavo-convex to plano(flat)-convex above, margins slightly scabrid (with teeth) towards tip. Leaf-sheaths red-brown, grooved. Inflorescence a solitary spike of tightly clustered flowers. female flowers 1-2, male flowers in a spikelet 3-4 mm long. Lowermost female glume bract-like, upper female glume 3-4 mm long. acute, red-brown, midrib green, extending to a fine scabrid spine 0.5 mm long. Utricles 3-3.5 × 1 mm, somewhat 3-angled (trigonous), ovoid, with 2 lateral nerves, beak 1 mm long with scabrid margins and oblique orifice (beak fragile and easily lost from specimens). Stigmas 3. Nut < 2 mm long, obovoid, 3-angled.
Carex allanii is similar to C. acicularis and C. enysii and differs from both species by its rhizomatous habit, very slender leaves and few (1-3) widely-spaced flowers. A first glance this species has the appearance of the exotic grass Festuca rubra subsp. rubra, it is only on closer inspection that the inconspicuous flowers are seen near the leaf tip.
? -November - December - ?
? -November - December - ?
Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown by division. Fresh seed should germinate readily.
Carex allanii, described in 1962, is known with certainty only from a handful of herbarium specimens. It may be genuinely uncommon, though it was collected once by accident in the mid 1990s (P.B. Heenan pers. comm.) suggesting it might also simply be overlooked. Until further field work is undertaken and backed up by good herbarium specimens, the exact status, and degree of threat (if any) this species faces will remain unresolved. This is why it has been rated as Data Deficient. At sites where it is currently known it appears intolerant of competition from grasses such as Festuca rubra.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
allanii: After Dr Harry Howard Barton Allan C.B.E. (1882–1957) one time school teacher, then first director of DSIR Botany Division, and ‘sole’ author of Flora I, the first in the former DSIR Botany Division flora series.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Carex allanii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/carex-allanii/ (Date website was queried)