Scirpus pottsii Cook
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 | Qualifiers: DP
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North, South and Chatham Islands.
A plant of boggy ground. In the northern part of its range virtually restricted to upland (> 500 m a.s.l.) cloud forest, subalpine scrub and and the fringes of bogs. Descending to lower altitudes in the southern North Island, and South Islands, where it may be found on river banks, or in seepages within lowland forest. On the Chathams it has been collected from restiad bog.
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).
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Tufts leafy from an ascending rhizome c. 1 mm. diameter. Culms 60.0-400.0 mm × c.0.5 mm. Leaves 1–4, usually < culms, c.0.5 mm wide, linear, concavo-convex, sheath membranous with red-purple nerves, orifice truncate. Inflorescence apparently lateral, of (1-)-4(-6) spikelets; subtending bract 10–40 mm long. Spikelets 2.5–4.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm, ovoid or elliptical. Glumes c.1.5 mm. long, lanceolate, acute, dark red, almost black, or pale cream with red markings, keel green, strongly developed, excurrent. Hypogynous bristles 0. Stamens 1(–3). Style-branches 2, or 3. Nut c. 1 mm. long, slightly > 0.5 mm, diameter, biconvex, rarely trigonous, elliptical, distinctly mucronate, dull yellow to yellow-brown, with minutely reticulate but glossy surface.
Most likely to be confused with Isolepis distigmatosa (C.B.Clarke) Edgar from which it differs in its often strictly erect but more gracile growth habit, by having true leaves, much finer culms and leaves, fewer spikelets and 2-3 style-branches
November - December
December - April
Nuts are dispersed by water and possibly granivory and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown in a damp site, or within a pot, from fresh seed and by the division of whole plants. However, tends to be short-lived and is probably only of interest to native plant specialists.
Not Threatened but not that common either. Probably best regarded as biologically sparse.
isolepis: From the Greek isos (equal) and lepis (scale)
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