comb sedge, cushion sedge, flat-leaved comb sedge
Oreobolus serrulatus Col.; Oreobolus pumilio var. pectinatus (Hook.f.) C.B.Clarke
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 = c.40
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
Endemic. North, South, Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands.
Coastal to alpine (up to 1500 m a.s.l.). Mostly alpine descending to sea level only in the southern South Island, Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands. A common species of cushion bogs and alpine seepages and mires and also favouring poorly drained open ground. Very rarely found growing in damp peaty ground under low subalpine scrub
Perennial sedge forming dense grey-green to green cushions 10-100 mm high. Stems densely packed, much branched at base, leafy. Leaves dark green, green to grey-green, mostly distichous; lamina 0.5-1.0 mm wide, abaxial surface convex, median nerve and two lateral nerves visible at widest part of lamina, adaxial surface channelled, only the median nerve prominent, both surfaces with abundant stomata; sheath 5-7-nerved, not lobed at apex. Spikelets usually solitary; mature peduncle usually > leaves. Glumes usually 3(-4), usually light green with broad, colourless, membranous margins, the outermost longer, leaf-like, the two inner more or less equal, membranous, the occasional fourth glume, smaller. Hypogynous scales < nut, lanceolate, initially colourless, maturing red-brown to almost black. Nut slightly > 1 mm long, < 1 mm diameter, light brown or often dark brown with a triangular, pubescent depression at apex.
Distinguished from the other endemic species O. impar Edgar and O. stricta Bergg. by the leaves which are mostly distichous; by the median nerve and 2 lateral nerves visible on the lower surface at the widest part of the leaf; and by the usually light green glumes
October - December
November - April
Easily grown from rooted pieces and probably from fresh seed. However, this species is best grown in a cooler climate or kept in a pot within an alpine house. it is very slow growing.
oreobolus: Mountain clump
pectinatus: Like a comb
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
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.