Cladium teretifolium R.Br.; Baumea teretifolia (R.Br.) Palla
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: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Swarding to densely tufted sedge dark green to yellow green rush-like sedge bearing dense paniculate inflorescences, each spikelet bearing an oblong-obovoid, white or pale brown, deeply corrugated nut
Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands - common in the northern half ot he North Island, then less so though locally common around Wellington. In the South Island common in Nelson and Westland. Also Australia and New Guinea.
Coastal to montane (up to 900 m a.s.l.) mostly in moderately acid to extremely acidic peat bogs, (especially low moor bogs and restiad bogs), also in gum land and pakihi. Less commonly found growing along the margins of peat lakes slow-flowing streams draining peat bogs, or along drainage ditches.
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).
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Plants rhizomatous, variable, either densely tufted, caespitose, or covering large tracts of ground with distant culms. Rhizome 2–4 mm diameter, fibrous and flexuous, usually widely creeping, all parts invested with closely imbricate, grey papery bracts. Culms 0.3–1.1 m tall, 1.5–4.0 mm, terete or slightly compressed, striate, yellow-green. Lowermost leaves reduced to sheathing bracts, pinkish brown, rarely dark grey, mucronate; upper leaves 1–3, < or ± = to culms, terete like the culms except towards the subulate, pungent tip, internally septate, sheath loose. Panicle 40–180 mm long, stiff, erect, narrowed and pointed towards the tip like a spear-head, with numerous closely packed branchlets; sheaths subtending panicle and branchlets short, membranous, pale brown, striate. Spikelets 3–5 mm long, fascicled, close-set, dark brown to almost black, 1(-2)-flowered, if so then with only 1 flower fertile. Glumes 4–5, ovate, acuminate to mucronate, almost awned, dark brown, smooth or slightly scabrid at the back, margins ± ciliate. Nut 1.5–2.0 × c. 1 mm, oblong-obovoid, white or pale brown, surface deeply and ± vertically corrugated; style-base very small, hardly distinct, smooth.
Machaerina teretifolia is recognised by dark green to yellow-green, terete, internally septate leaves; dark brown to almost black, narrowed and pointed, dense paniculate inflorescences, with more or less approximate branches; and an oblong-obovoid, white or pale brown, deeply corrugated nut.
October - December
Throughout the year
Nuts are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of whole plants - though plants may take some time to settle. Although it prefers an acidic, permanently damp soil, plants can be grown in free draining soils and once established will tolerate dry spells reasonably well. Plants also flourish in pots and do well when planted in a medium comprising mostly untreated pine sawdust.
teretifolia: From the Latin teres ‘rounded’ and folium ‘leaf’, meaning terete-shaped leaf. Terete is the opposite to angular and is used in contradistinction when speaking of long bodies, such as stems or leaves.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (23 March 2012). 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 teretifolia Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/machaerina-teretifolia/ (Date website was queried)