Scirpus subtilissimus (Boeck.) S.T.Blake
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 Island: Present also in the Philippines, New Guinea and Australia.
Mostly montane or subalpine in cloud forest, or around tarns and in within bogs. Extending down rivers into lowland areas especially within the southern part of its range.
Small, fine-leaved tufts, from a much-branched, creeping rhizome up to 0.5 mm diameter. Culms filiform, 10-50(-90) × 0.2–0.3 mm. Leaves 1–4, < or often > culms, c.0.5 mm wide, setaceous, channelled. Inflorescence apparently lateral, usually a solitary spikelet, occasionally 2, subtending bract much > inflorescence, up to 30 mm long. Spikelets 1.0-2.5 × 1.0-1.5 mm, ovate, pale green. Glumes only slightly > 1 mm. long, ovate or elliptical, ± acute, pale cream and membranous, or marked with red, keel green, prominent, occasionally slightly excurrent, margins hyaline. Hypogynous bristles 0. Stamens 1, occasionally 2–3 in lowermost glumes of spikelet. Style-branches 3. Nut < 1 mm. long, c.0.5 mm wide, almost = glume, trigonous and prominently ribbed on dorsal angle, mucronate, pale straw-coloured.
Close to Isolepis habra (Edgar) Soják from which it is distinguished by its smaller stature (stems up to 60 mm long), upright tufted habit, usually very dark green culms, and nut which is > 1 mm long.
October - December
November - April
Nuts are dispersed by water and possibly granivory and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed, rooted pieces and by the division of whole plants. However, requires cool conditions and dislikes humidity and drought.
isolepis: From the Greek isos (equal) and lepis (scale)
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