Chaetospora nitens R.Br.; Scirpus nitens (R.Br.) Boeck., Schoenus nitens (R.Br.) Roem. et Schult. var. nitens
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 = 74
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
Indigenous. North, South and Chatham Islands. Also in Australia and New Guinea. In New Zealand abundant from about Whatipu south to Wellington - with scattered populations in the far north (Reef Point, Te Aupouri, and Te Paki). Scarce in the South Island. Abundant on the main Chatham Island.
Coastal. A species of damp ground within sand flats, dune swales, and the margins of tidal creeks, brackish swamps, lagoons and ponds.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Rhizomatous, tufted rush-like sedge. Rhizomes lignaceous, up to 1.5 mm diameter, loosely covered by large, membranous, overlapping scales. Culms 10-400 mm long, slightly greater than 0.5 mm diameter, dark green, red-green to greenish brown, wiry, erect, striated, unbranched, densely tufted or widely spaced along rhizome. Leaves less than culms, upper leaves alternate, rigidly setaceous, semi-terete, margins rarely scabrid towards leaf apex; basal leaves reduced to red-purple, grooved, mucronate sheaths. Inflorescence terminal, capitate with crowded sessile spikelets, subtending bract greater than inflorescence. Spikelets(2-)4-many, 2-5 mm long, 2-3-flowered. Glumes 5-7, bright chestnut-brown with green median nerve, 2-3 lowest smaller, empty. Hypogynous bristles 6, usually > nut, yellow-brown and scabrid towards the apex, often branched and basally plumose with long white hairs. Stamens 3. Style Branches 3. Nut ovoid to elliptical-oblong, 1.5 mm long, light grey-brown to red-brown, smooth, glossy, surface cells minute (appearing as dimples), angles scarcely thickened.
Schoenus concinnus (Hook.f.) Hook.f. is somewhat similar but differs by its finer culms, more densely tufted growth habit, smaller stature, often solitary spikelets (there may occasionally be three spikelets), subacute rather than obtuse glumes, and yellow-brown rather than grey-brown to red-brown, larger nut (1.5-2.0 mm cf. 1.5 mm long). Schoenus nitens differs from the other rush-like species by having well developed leaves.
October - February
December - July
Easily grown from the division of established plants and from fresh seed. Prefers a damp, well drained 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.