Grassy mat sedge Carex inopinata

Key Features

  • An inconspicuous, sward-forming sedge with bright green leaves from 5-30 cm long, that are finely toothed only near their tips. The flowering stem is shorter than the leaves, with a slender spike of male flowers at the top and 2-3 short female spikes at the base. Female flowers form relatively large nuts (6-7 mm long) that are wrapped in reddish scales, but these may be buried deeply in the centre of each tuft and thus difficult to observe.

Distribution and Habitat

  • South Island, but currently known from only six widely scattered sites in Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.
  • It occurs in dry, shaded high fertility habitats.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Competition with exotic plants.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat – avoid afforestation.
  • Weed control.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN).
  • Weed management - DOC, Regional Councils.
  • References:
    • Dopson, S.R.; de Lange, P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D.; Courtney, S. & Molloy, J. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
    • Wilson, C.M. & Given, D.R. (1989). Threatened plants of New Zealand. DSIR Publishing, Wellington.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.