Carex lambertiana


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.

Common Name(s)

Forest sedge

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Carex lambertiana Boott



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


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.

Structural Class



Carex dissita Boott var. lambertiana (Boott) Cheeseman


Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands. In the North Island abundant from Te Paki to about the southern Waikato, otherwise uncommon. In the South Island known from Nelson, Marlborough and northern Canterbury.


Coastal to montane. Usually in relatively open but shaded sites within tall forest or in riparian forest along riversides and on river terraces. Sometimes establishes in parks within urban areas


Tufts robust, leafy, 0.6–1.0 m tall. Culms 1–2 mm diameter, trigonous, smooth; basal sheaths dark grey-brown or purple-black. Leaves ± = culms, 3–6 mm wide, double-folded, bright green or yellow-green, margins finely scabrid. Spikes 5–8; terminal 1(-3) spikes male; remaining spikes female, often male at the base, 15-50 × 5-7 mm, cylindrical, uppermost spikes approximate and sessile, lower spikes more distant, erect, on short, stiff peduncles. Glumes (excluding awn) ± = utricles, ovate, pinkish brown to chestnut-brown, membranous, hyaline margins often very broad, tip deeply emarginate, the light green or brown midrib produced to a scabrid awn. Utricles 2.5–3.5 × c.1.5 mm, biconvex, obovoid, turgid, usually dark brown to almost purple-black throughout with distinct, paler brown nerves, shining; beak slightly < 1 mm long, bifid, with very divergent crura, margins and orifice scabrid. Stigmas 3. Nut c.1.5 mm long, trigonous, light to dark brown, surface minutely pitted.

Similar Taxa

Carex lambertiana often grows with C. dissita Sol. ex Boott, C. ochrosaccus (Cheeseman) Hamlin, and C. solandri Boott. Of these species it is most similar to C. dissita from which it differs by the stouter, more robust habit, larger spikelets usually erect, shortly pedunculate spikelets bearing more numerous flowers and utricles; obovoid rather than ovoid utricles, and glumes which have deeply emarginate apices. From C. ochrosaccus with which it often grows, it differs by the longer, darker brown to almost purple black utricles and by the glumes which have deeply emarginate tips. Carex lambertiana could also be confused with C. solandri from which it is easily distinguished by the usually short rather than long pedunculate, erect rather than pendulous, spikelets


September - December


Throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. A far superior species to the widely cultivated C. dissita, which deserves to be more widely grown. It does best in partial shade, within a rich, free draining soil. This species occasionally naturalises in urban areas.


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (31 August 2006): Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970) - see also de Lange et al. (2010).

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.


This page last updated on 18 Jun 2015