bog schoenus, the stabber
Chaetospora tenax Hook.f.; Schoenus tenax (Hook.f.) Hook.f.; Schoenus brevifolius subsp. tenax (Hook.f.) Kük.; Schoenus brevifolius R.Br. var. tenax (Hook.f.) Koyama
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
Inidgenous. North and South Islands. Also in Australia, New Caledonia and the Bonin Islands. In New Zealand mainly found from North Cape to about the southern Waikato and Rotorua district. Also recorded from the Nelson area.
Coastal to lower montane (up to 500 m a.s.l.). Preferring peat bogs - often ones dominated by restiads, but also frequent in gumland scrub, and in open, boggy ground within kauri (Agathis australis (D.Don) Lindl.) forest.
Rush-like sedge up to 1 m tall. Rhizome hard, lignaceous and coarse, up to 8 mm diameter, covered with closely appressed, dark red, red-black to black glossy bracts. Culms closely packed, rigidly erect, 0.5-1.3 m long, c.2 mm diameter, dark green to yellow-green, smooth, often shallowly grooved on one side, apex maturing as a hard, grey, woody cap-like spike. Leaves reduced to 3-4 very dark red, hard, mucronate sheaths, the 2 uppermost with a short, subulate, erect lamina; orifice of sheath not ciliate. Panicle 80-300 mm long, very narrow, upright and stiff, occasionally bent at the apex, with more or less distant fascicles of 3-5 branchlets, each fascicle subtended by a short sheath similar to those at culm base; branchlets flexuous, flattened, with scabrid margins, often branched again, sheaths subtending secondary branchlets ciliate at the mouth, Spikelet terminating each branchlet 9-12 mm long, 2-4-flowered, lanceolate, red-brown. Glumes 7-14, ovate-lanceolate, acute, margins ciliate towards the apex, 4-6, lower glumes smaller, empty, 2-3 succeeding glumes fertile, uppermost 2-3 glumes sterile. Hypogynous bristles 0. Stamens usually 2, occasionally 3. Style-branches 3. Nut 1.5 x 1 mm, cream, turgid, surface distinctly rugose.
Differs from the other rush-like Schoenus species with open, distantly spaced panicles by the culms which are c. 2 mm diameter and by the nuts which are distinctly rugose
September - January
November - June
Difficult. Can be grown from the division of whole plants and fresh seed but resents root disturbance. Best in a permanently damp, somewhat acidic soil in full sun.
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.