kauri sedge, kauri schoenus
Chaetospora tendo Banks et Sol. ex Hook.f.
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 = 70
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 Island from North Cape to about the southern Waikato, near Awakino and the Bay of Plenty.
Coastal to lowland. Mostly in gumland or tea tree scrub and in regenerating kauri (Agathis australis (D.Don) Lindl.) forest. Sometimes persistent on clay hills coverted to pasture. Rarely colonising the margins of peat bogs.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Rush-like sedge up to 1 m tall. Rhizome short, hard, lignaceous, up to 4 mm diameter, loosely covered in brown or greyish-brown bracts. Culms densely crowded, erect or drooping (often forming dense tangles), 0.4-1.2m long, c.1 mm diameter, light green to dark green, glossy. Leaves reduced to sheathing mucronate bracts, dark red-purple, almost black, the mucro more elongated in the uppermost bracts; mouth of sheath fringed by cobwebby hairs. Panicle 15-120 mm long, very narrow, with more or less distant fascicles of 3-4 branchlets, each fascicle subtended by a sheath 0.5-1.5 mm long, ciliate at the mouth; branchlets flexuous, laterally compressed and toothed along edges, each bearing a solitary spikelet or branched again. Spikelets 5-8 mm long, 2-4-flowered, linear-lanceolate, dark brown to almost black. Glumes 10-13, ovate lanceolate acute, margins ciliate towards the apex with tangled woolly hairs, the lower 6-8 glumes shorter, empty, 2-4 succeeding glumes fertile, the 2 upper glumes empty. Hypogynous bristles 3-6, thread-like, less than or greater than nut. Stamens 2. Style-branches 2(-3). Nut 1.5 x 1.0 mm, pale cream or light brown, unequally biconvex, obovoid, obtuse to retuse, surface smooth.
Easily recognised by the large often drooping green culms, sheaths fringed with cobwebby hairs, and preference for poorly drained clay soils (usually in gumland scrub) or under kauri. It could only be confused with S. carsei which is confined to acidic peat bogs and lake margins, has yellow-green to orange-green culms, and whose sheaths lack the distinctive cobwebby orifices diagnostic of S. tendo. Schoenus tendo also differs from S. carsei by having mostly 2 rather than 3 style-branches.
September - January
October - July
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.