Carex fascicularis Boott var. minor Boott; Carex forsteri Wahl. var. minor (Boott) Hook.f.
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.72-76
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.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands. In the North Island uncommon in the east from East Cape to the Wairarapa otherwise widespread. In the South Island apparently absent from Southland and Fiordland
Coastal to lowland in freshwater wetlands, under willow in gully systems, along river and stream banks, lake margins, and in damp seepages, pond margins and clearings within forest. Preferring fertile to mid-fertile wetlands.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Light green to yellow-green tufted sedge. Culms 150.0-700.0 × 1.0–2.5 mm., trigonous, smooth or faintly scabrid below inflorescence; basal sheaths light to dark grey, often red-tinged. Leaves > culms, to 1 m long, 2-7 mm wide, double-folded, cross-veinlets ± prominent, keel and margins minutely scabrid. Inflorescence of 2-5 close-set, sessile, usually erect, occasionally spreading spikes, or the lowest 1-2 rather distant and shortly pedunculate; terminal spike male; remaining spikes female, usually > and overtopping male spike, 20–60 × 7–12 mm, crowded at same level round base of male spike. Glumes usually much < utricles, 1-2 mm long, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, margin of upper part fimbriate or lacerate, hyaline with a green midrib produced to a scabrid awn 1-3 mm long, up to 6 mm long in lowermost glumes. Utricles 4.0-5.5(-6.0) × 1.0–1.5 mm., plano-convex or biconvex, turgid, ovate or lanceolate, spreading when ripe, shining light green to light brown with numerous distinct white nerves, very slightly tapered above to a beak 1.5–2.0 mm long, with bifid, glabrous orifice, crura c. 1/3 length of entire beak; stipe narrow, c.0.5 mm long. Stigmas 3. Nut c. 1.5 mm. long, triquetrous, ellipsoid, cream or light brown
Carex maorica is easily recognised by its slender culms; pale green to yellow green wide leaves; prominent cross-veinlets on sheaths and leaves; and mostly clustered spikelets, and short glumes with lacerate or fimbriate margins; and by the submembranous, strongly nerved, glabrous, spreading utricles. There are only two other carices in New Zealand with cross-veinlets, the indigenous C. fascicularis Boott and naturalised C. lurida Wahlenberg. Carex fascicularis differs from C. maorica by the female spikes mostly distant to ± approximate (but then never clustered at one level round base of male spike). Carex lurida is a much larger sedge than either species (up to 2.5 m tall) and has utricles 6-9 × 2-4 rather than 4.0-6.0 × 1.0-1.5 mm
October - December
November - May
Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Although a wetland species C. maorica will grow well in most soils and moisture regimes. Does best in full sun.
carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (12 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 maorica Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/carex-maorica/ (Date website was queried)