Lampocarya affinis Brong.; Morelotia gahniaeformus Gaud. var. minor A.Rich.; Gahnia arenaria Hook.f.; Mariscus affinis (Brong.) Kuntze; Machaerina affinis (Brong.) Kern
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 = 46
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 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North and South Islands from Te Paki south to south-west Nelson.
Coastal to montane. usually on steep clay banks and hillsides in gumland scrub, shrublands and other regenerating mainly indigenous vegetation. Sometimes in pine plantations. Also colonising steep rock faces, gorges and boulder falls.
Harsh, leafy tufted perennial sedge 200-700 mm tall. Rootstock, stout, lignaceous. Leaves numerous, » culms, 200-620 x 4-8 mm, green to yellow-green (rarely dark green), flat, curving, scabrid on the abaxial, tapering to a filiform apex, this usually curled when dry; margins scabrid, strongly revolute in the long persistent dry old leaves; sheath rather short compared to lamina, not demarcated from lamina by any transverse line but merely becoming broader, cream, with membranous margins. Panicle erect, rigid, 60-300 mm long, with short, more or less distant branchlets subtended by rigid, scabrid, leaf-like bracts. Spikelets 6.5-10.0 mm long, narrow-lanceolate, shortly stalked. Glumes coriaceous, minutely puberulous, keel and margins finely scabrid; 4 outer glumes smaller, increasing in size, usually acuminate, 2 upper glumes much longer, acute, rigid; a seventh minute membranous glume subtending the uppermost sterile flower. Nut 2.5-3.0 x 1.5 mm, elliptic-oblong, lustrous red-brown to black, with 3 longitudinal ribs, surmounted by a thickened, corky style-base which is very distinct in the immature fruit; ripe fruit retained on plant for a time by being entangled in the slightly elongated staminal filaments.
Rather close to Gahnia J.R.Forst. et G.Forst. form which it is best distinguished by the smaller stature and by the distichous arrangement of the glumes. Some botanists regard Morelotia as indistinguishable from Gahnia, treating the New Zealand plant as Gahnia affinis (Brong.) Steud.
October - December
November - April (but old inflorescences present throughout the year)
Very difficult to cultivate. The seed is difficult to germinate and plants resent root disturbance, so usually die if transplanted. However, considerable success has been achieved growing plants and germinating seed in untreated saw dust. Although tricky this is a species worth persevering with, as it has an attractive form and once established is very drought resistant. It does best in full sun on rock or planted within a poorly drained clay soils.
affinis: From the Latin ad + finis ‘to the boundary’, means ‘neighbouring’, ‘allied to’, ‘akin to’
Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.