Scirpus praetextatus Edgar
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 | Data Deficient
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North (south Wellington coastline), South (Westland, Fiordland, Southland), Stewart, Snares, Campbell, Auckland and Chatham Islands.
Coastal banks, boulder falls and turf or in seepages. Sometimes on damp ground ground under coastal scrub and forest.
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).
Tufted perennial, often prostrate or drooping, from a slender ascending rhizome c 0.5 mm in diameter. Culms 30.0-300.0 × 0.5-1.0 mm; 1-2 basal bracts per culm, membranous, grey-brown or sometimes red-purple. Leaves (1-)2-3(-4) per culm, shorter than or equaling culms; sheath often streaked with red-purple. Inflorescence c.(3-)4-5 mm high and (3-)5-9 mm broad, usually almost semicircular in outline, of 2-5 ovate, obtuse, close packed spikelets, each usually dark red-purple, almost black below and green above to grey-brown later, rarely entirely grey-green; subtending bract much exceeding inflorescence, up to 10 cm long, rigid, as wide as a foliage leaf, red-purple at base, sometimes a second shorter subtending bract is present. Glumes 2.0-2-5 mm long, lanceolate, acute, membranous, tinged with red-purple, keel very thick, green, slightly excurrent. Stamens 3 in lower glumes, to 2-1 above. Style branches 3. Hypogynous bristles 0. Nut about half the length of the glume, c.1.0 × 0.5 mm, trigonous, with angles slightly thickened, elliptical, smooth, pale cream, shortly stipitate and apiculate.
Similar to large, leafy forms of I. inundata R.Br. but differing by the distinctly more leafy habit, much longer bract subtending the inflorescence; usually 2(-1) rather than 1(-2) stamens per glume, and by the glumes lanceolate, acute and strongly keeled, rather than ovate, obtuse and less prominently keeled.
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 established plants. Requires a permanently moist, acidic soil to flourish. Best grown in partial to full shade
isolepis: From the Greek isos (equal) and lepis (scale)
praetextata: Bordered with purple
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