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 conservation 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). 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.
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Sparse
Endemic. North and South Islands - scarce in the North Island where it is knwon from two sites (Mangahararu Range and Mt Ruapehu)
A species of open, moist stony ground, particularly on or near limestone or chlorite schists. Usually found within tussock grassland or associated subalpine scrub. Sometimes present in montane forest.
Shortly rhizomatous, swarding dark green to yellow-green diminutive sedge forming a dense, compact turf amongst stones and tussocks. Culms 0-15-100 x 0.2-0.4(-0.5) mm, terete, shallowly grooved; basal sheaths chestnut-brown to yellow-brown. Leaves about equal in length to culms, 0.3 mm wide, plano-convex, hair-like, lamina involute just above wide brown sheath, margins smooth, apex obtuse. Inflorescence solitary, terminal, spike of tightly clustered flowers. Female flowers2-3 overtopping the 1-2 male flowers. Lowermost female glume bractiform, 4-7 mm long, upper female glumes 3 mm long, ovate, acute, brown, midrib green, margin hyaline. Utricles 2.5-3 x 1-2 mm, ovoid, sub-terete, pale brown to very light brown, irrespective of colour becoming distinctly paler toward the base, smooth, glabrous, tapered to a darker beak 1 mm long with a hyaline, oblique orifice; stipe minute or absent. Stigmas 3. Rhachilla enclosed within utricle 1 x 0.3 mm at the base, tapering to a bluntly truncate apex. Nut 1.5 mm long, obtusely trigonous.
Allied to C. acicularis Boott in Hook.f., and C. allanii Hamlin, and distinguished from both by the glabrous rather than scabrid utricle beak and shorter rhachilla (1 mm compared with 2 mm in the other two species).
October - December
October - April
Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from rooted pieces and fresh seed but slow growing and somewhat fickle. Best kep in a pot, in full sun with a permanently moist soil.
Biologically sparse and probably also overlooked as it is rather small and inconspciuous. At present it doe snot seem be threatened although some populations are probably vulnerable to invasive weeds.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
enysii: Named in honour of John Davies Enys (1837-1912), a Cornish geologist, biologist and farmer, who owned Castle Hill Station in Canterbury from 1867 to 1891.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (8 August 2007). 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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Carex enysii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/carex-enysii/ (Date website was queried)