Carex littoralis Petrie, Carex australis Kirk
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 = 48
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 – Declining | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Declining
2004 | Serious Decline
Endemic to North, South and Stewart Islands.
Coastal in salty, brackish marshes and on sandy, tidal river banks.
An upright sedge to 800 mm tall (but usually smaller), that forms pale green or reddish, dense tussocks with curly tops. Leaves are flat on one side, curved on the other and slightly serrated along the edge, 1.5 mm wide and about the same length as the flower stem. Flower stems are cylindrical and upright, with light brown spikes.
Carex divisa, which also grows in saltmarshes but has blue-grey leaves, and smaller, compact black spikes borne on long stems near the apex of the leaves of each tussock.
October to December
December to April (but seedheads long persistent)
Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from fresh seed and by the divison of whole plants. Very easy to grow in a range of substrates.
Habitat loss through coastal development. Encroachment by weeds is a serious problem in the North Island, especially from species such as spartina, tall fescue and Carex divisa.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
litorosa: From the Latin littus ‘shore’, meaning shore-loving or growing on the shore
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 2 September 2003.
References and further reading
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 litorosa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/carex-litorosa/ (Date website was queried)