jointed baumea, jointed twig rush
Cladium articulatum R.Br.; Baumea articulata (R.Br.) 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.
2n = 24
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. Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. In New Zealand confined to the North Island where it is known from Te Paki south to the Manawatu River.
Coastal to lowland (up to 380 m a.s.l.). A common emergent species of swampy lakes, ponds, stream and river margins. Also colonising the lag zone of peat bogs.
Stout, perennial sedge of semi-aquatic and aquatic habitats. Rhizome 5-7 mm diameter, usually long and widely creeping and covered with numerous tightly imbricating bracts. Culms 0.8-2.0 m tall, 4-6 mm diameter, cylindrical, smooth; hollow except for transverse septa more less distinct externally in lower part of culm. leaves more or less equal in length to culms; lamina terete, with distinct transverse septa; apex subacute, pungent; sheaths very long; lowermost leaves reduced to long, chartaceous, grey or light brown, mucronate bracts. Panicle 120-300 mm long, pendulous, heavily branched; branchlets in fascicles from sheathing bracts;, lowermost bract 60-200 mm long, with lamina septate like the leaves. Spikelets exceedingly numerous, 4-6 mm long, deep red-brown, 1-3-flowered, 1-2 flowers fertile, usually not necessarily the lowest. Glumes 4-7, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, scabrid at the back and on the keel, margins scabrid or with short cilia; lowermost 1-2 glumes empty. Nut 2.0 x 1.5 mm, trigonous, elliptical to obovoid, red-brown with paler thickened angles, very shortly stipitate, crowned by the cushion-like pyramidal style-base.
Easily distinguished from all other Machaerina species by the terete, externally septate leaves. It has a superficial similarity to Eleocharis sphacelata from which it differs by the taller, dark green leaves and taller, many-branched drooping paniculate rather than spicate inflorescence.
September - December
November - May (but fruits may be present throughout the year)
Nuts are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of whole plants. Best grown on the margin of a pond, lake or slow flowing stream. An attractive though rather large sedge which is best grown in a place where there is suitable space for it. Prefers full sun and does best when planted into water. However, it is also tolerant of dry soils and can be grown in most garden situations.
articulata: Having joints, jointed
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (8 September 2006). Description adapted from Moore & Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
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 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Machaerina articulata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/machaerina-articulata/ (Date website was queried)