Scirpus inundatus (R.Br.) Spreng.; Scirpus inundatus var. major Cheeseman; Isolepis propinuqua R.Br.; Scirpus cartilagineus var. propinqua (Nees) Benth.; Isolepis conspersa Nees in Endl.; Scirpus conspersus (Nees) Boeck.; Isolepis gunnii Steud.; Isolepis urvillei Steud.; Scirpus urvillei (Steud.) Boeck.; Isolepis multinervosa Boeck.
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 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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South and Chatham Islands. Also Australia, Malaysia, South America and Norfolk Island
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.
Initially tufted, with culms soon arching and spreading. Culms 60.0–500.0 × 0.4–1.8 mm, tufted, numerous, erect, often rather rigid (especially in lower third), terete, bright green. Leaves 1, or rarely 2–3 at the base of the culm, < 1 mm. wide; frequently reduced to a single, mucronate, red basal bract, mucro usually short. Inflorescence an apparently lateral, solitary head of (1–)3–6(-10) crowded spikelets, often proliferous with 1–3 slender branchlets each terminated by a smaller head of spikelets, subtending bract usually slightly > spikelets. Spikelets 2.0–5.0 × 1.5–3.0 mm, ovate or oblong-ovate, often dark red-purple. Glumes 1.5–2.0 mm. long, oblong-obovate, obtuse or ± acute, with a large dark red to black patch on either side of the pale green keel, with numerous distinct, light brown nerves, margins entire, white and membranous, flattened at the tip beside the keel. Hypogynous bristles 0. Stamen 1, very rarely 2. Style-branches 3, or rarely 2–3. Nut c.1.0 × 0.5 mm, slightly > ½ length of glume, conspicuously trigonous (very occasionally biconvex), distinctly mucronate, pale straw-coloured, almost white, occasionally grey-brown, surface distinctly reticulate.
Close to I. distigmatosa (C.B.Clarke) Edgar and I.prolifer (Rottb.) R.Br. in often having no true leaves but only sheathing bracts. It is distinguished from these species by its usually pale green basally blotched dark red or purple glumes, mostly 3 rather than 2 style-branches, and trigonous (rarely biconvex) nuts. It is usually a much finer plant than either of these species.
September - January
October - June
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 but can become invasive in some situations.
isolepis: From the Greek isos (equal) and lepis (scale)
inundata: Growing in places that are periodically flooded
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