Scirpus sulcatus var. distigmatosus C.B.Clarke in Cheeseman
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 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. North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.
Coastal to montane in fresh water wetlands (eutrophic to oligotrophic). Often forming a floating sud around lake, pond and stream margins. Sometimes colonising old water troughs and damp pasture.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Culms 100.0-500.0 × < 1.0-1.5 mm, tufted, leafless except for a single, basal, red-purple sheath. Inflorescence an apparently lateral, solitary head of numerous densely packed spikelets, often proliferous with 1-3 very slender branchlets each bearing a cluster of spikelets; bract subtending inflorescence variable in length, often > spikelets. Spikelets 3-5(-7) × 2-3 mm, oblong or elliptical, red-brown. Glumes c.2 mm long, ovate to obovate, subacute to obtuse, flattened at apex beside keel, light greenish-brown with red markings to almost entirely dark red-purple, with numerous, often distinct, light brown nerves; keel rather narrow, usually prominent only in upper part of glume, occasionally slightly excurrent; hyaline margins entire, usually conspicuous. Hypogynous bristles 0. Stamens usually 1, rarely 2-3 in lower flowers of spikelet. Style-branches 2, very rarely 3. Nut c.1 mm long, slightly > 0.5 mm diameter, < glume, plano-convex or biconvex, obovoid, minutely apiculate with a dark tip, cream to light grey-brown, surface shining but minutely reticulate.
Close to I. inundata R.Br. and I.prolifer (Rottb.) R.Br. in having no true leaves but only sheathing bracts. It is distinguished from these species by its usually reddish glumes, 2 rather than 3 style-branches, and plano-convex nuts.
October - January
December - April
Nuts are dispersed by water and possibly granivory and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of whole plants. Once established rather tolerant of a range of conditions but flourishes best in full sun in a permanently damp soil. An attractive pot plant.
isolepis: From the Greek isos (equal) and lepis (scale)
distigmatosa: With two stigmas
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970).
References and further reading
Johnson, A. T. and Smith, H. A (1986). Plant Names Simplified: Their pronunciation, derivation and meaning. Landsman Bookshop Ltd: Buckenhill, UK.
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 11: 285-309