Vascular – Native
2n = c.60
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.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: DP, RR, TO
2012 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: RR, TO
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: DP, RR, SO, Sp
2004 | Gradual Decline
Indigenous. Present In Australia. In New Zealand confined to the North Island where it is now known from North Cape to Hinehopu mire in the Rotorua Lakes district. It formerly grew at Ngaere Swamp (Taranaki)
Coastal, lowland to montane. Usually in moderately fertile to acid wetlands. Often on the margins of burn pools or other slow moving water channels, where it often grows in association with Baumea rubiginosa, B. teretifolia, Tetraria capillaris and Empodisma minus. Occasionally associated with the margins of small ephemeral dune ponds.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Stout rush-like sedge of mid-acid to acidic peat bogs and mires. Rhizomes short, 3 mm diam., covered in closely appressed red-purple bracts. Culms 600-900 mm, c.1 mm diam., densely tufted light green, grass-green to orange-green. Leaves reduced to brown, mucronate sheaths, the uppermost mucro often elongating greatly, mouth of sheath not ciliate. Panicle 80-150(-220) mm long, very slender, fascicles distant, of 3-4 branchlets, subtended by short sheath similar to those of culm base; branchlets filiform, flexuous, simple or branched again. Spikelets single at tips of branchlets, 7-10 mm, 2-flowered, very narrow, compressed, linear lanceolate, grey-brown. Glumes 5-7, imbricating, lanceolate, acute, hyaline except near midrib, margins not ciliate, 3-4 lower glumes, upper most glume empty. Hypogenous bristles 0(-3), minute. Stamens 3. Style-branches 3. Nut 2 x 1 mm, oblong-ovoid, obtuse, smooth, white.
Frequently confused with Tetraria capillaris (F.Muell.) J.M.Black, a similar rush-like plant with very fine yellow-green culms, which often grows in association with S. carsei. From that genus and species, S. carsei differs by its wider culms, larger panciles bearing more numerous flowers and by the rhacilla of the spikelet flexuous (wavy), short between sterile nodes and elongated between the fertile nodes.
(September-)October to January
Can be grown from the division of whole plants and probably from fresh seed. Dislikes root disturbance and requires permanently waterlogged substrates
Threatened by wetland drainage, eutrophication, modification and the spread of naturalised wetland weeds. There are few recent records, and the majority of these come form the Whangamarino and Opuatia wetlands in the Huntly Basin.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange (28 July 2005). 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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Schoenus carsei Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/schoenus-carsei/ (Date website was queried)