Carex kirkii var. kirkii
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.
2n = c.68-70
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) – 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.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. 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. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island North-West Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago.
Alpine (900-1900 m a.s.l.). Usually in snow-tussock (Chionochloa) grassland, associated herbfield and on semi-consolidated talus.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Shortly rhizomatous, bright to dark green densely tufted sedge. Culms much , rarely < utricles, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate or acute, membranous, light brown or almost colourless, midrib light green, prominent in the lowermost glumes and often scabrid towards the tip. Utricles 4.0-4.5 × c.1 mm, plano-convex, elliptic-obovoid, ± papillose, strongly nerved slightly winged; beak 1.5-2.0 mm long, scabrid on the margins, orifice oblique, bifid; stipe minute or absent. Stigmas 2. Nut c.2 mm long, plano-convex, oblong, shortly stipitate.
Carex kirkii var. elatior Kük. differs by the longer culms (up to 210 mm cf. 40 mm in var. elatior) which elongate well above the leaves and surrounding leaf-sheaths at maturity rather than remain hidden amongst the leaf-sheaths; longer (up to 350 x 1.5 mm cf. 200 x 0.5 mm) involute or flattened rather than involute leaves; and longer (10-40 x c.5 mm cf. 10-15 x c.5 mm) distinct rather than crowded spikes. Only occasionally are the lower-most spikes of var. elatior specimens subtended by a leaf-like bract, while in var. kirkii the whole inflorescence is almost always subtended by such a bract.
November - December
December - February
Winged utricles are dispersed by water, granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of established plants. Best planted in full sun in a free-draining, permanently damp soil within a rock garden, or grown in a pot. Dislikes humidity and will not flower in warmer, northern lowland situations.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
kirkii: After Thomas Kirk (18 January 1828 - 8 March 1898), a NZ botanist and lecturer in natural sciences and regarded as a leader of botanical enquiry in NZ for over three decades. One of his most significant publications was Forest flora of NZ (1889) but he also contributed over 130 papers to the Transactions and Proceedings of the NZ Institute and other journals.
Where To Buy
Not Commercially Available
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (110 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 kirkii var. kirkii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/carex-kirkii-var-kirkii/ (Date website was queried)