Vascular – Exotic
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.
Usually in wetlands and often invasive in poorly drained pasture or pasture bordering wetlands. Tolerant of heavy shade and full sun. Often favouring soils overlying calcareous or other base-rich substrates
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Rather stiff blue-green tufted sedge forming extensive patches. Rhizome widely creeping. Stems 100 -600 mm high, ± terete to ± 3-angled, smooth. Leaves 2-3 mm wide, < stems, double-folded to ± flat, stiff, often curved, rather harshly scabrid; sheaths dark brown, often bright red-tinged. Inflorescence 50-100 mm long, of 4-6 dark brown, pedunculate spikes, terminal 1-3 male, rest female, often a remote lowermost spike on an extremely long peduncle from near base of stem; subtending bracts leaf-like, ± = or > inflorescence. Male spikes ± 30.0 x 1.5 mm; glumes narrow, obtuse, dark brown with lighter brown midrib not reaching tip of glume. Female spikes 20-45 x ± 4 mm, often male at top; glumes < utricles, oblong-ovate, subobtuse, dark purple-brown with broad, lighter green to brown midrib. Utricles ± 2.0-2.5 x 1.5 mm, obovoid to ± orbicular, often inflated, papillose, red-tinged throughout or green with red patches, beak minute, orifice truncate, dark red. Stigmas 3. Nut ellipsoid, trigonous.
The widely creeping, long rhizomatous habit, blue-green (glaucous) glabrous leaves and dark-purple brown glumes with a distinctly lighter brown midrib are diagnostic of this species.
Perennial. Seed and rhizomes dispersed by contaminated machinery or garden discards.
Europe, North Asia, North Africa
Reason for introduction
Not controlled in New Zealand.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).
References and further reading
Healy, A.J.; Edgar, E. (1980). Flora of New Zealand, Volume III. Adventive Cyperaceous, Petalous and Spathaceous Monocotyledons. Government Printer, Wellington. 220pp.
Johnson PN, Brooke PA (1989). Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319pp.
Champion et al (2012). Freshwater Pests of New Zealand. NIWA publication. http://www.niwa.co.nz/freshwater-and-estuaries/management-tools/identification-guides-and-fact-sheets/freshwater-pest-species