Carex solandri


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
solandri: Named after Daniel Carlsson Solander (19 February 1733 - 13 May 1782) who was a Swedish naturalist and an apostle of Carl Linnaeus.

Common Name(s)

Forest Sedge, Solander's 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 solandri 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. solandri (Boott) Kük.


Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands


Coastal to montane. Usually in riparian forest where it may be the dominant sedge of alluvial terraces, and riversides but also colonising wet seepages and slip scars. Usually found in association with C. dissita Boott.


Dense yellow-green tufts, upper part of leaves and culms drooping. Culms 0.10–1.00 m long, c.1 mm diameter, trigonous, smooth; basal sheaths red-brown, red-purple to black. Leaves < or = culms, 1.5-6.5 mm wide, linear, double-folded, cartilaginous. Inflorescence of 5–10 distant spikes 10-50 mm long, nodding on long filiform peduncles; terminal 1–4 spikes male, slender, usually approximate; remaining spikes female with a few male flowers above or below, 3–4 mm diameter, usually almost black, lowermost spikes often compound; subtending bracts leafy, > inflorescence. Glumes (excluding awn) ± = or < utricles, ovate, lanceolate, entire or rarely emarginate, light or dark brown, membranous, midrib produced to a scabrid awn of varying length. Utricles 2–3 mm long, slightly > 1 mm. diameter, plano-convex, unequally biconvex or subtrigonous, fusiform or ovoid, turgid, dark red-brown to almost black, occasionally light brown, pale yellow towards the base, surface smooth, occasionally faintly nerved at the base, shining; scarcely narrowed above to a bidentate beak < 0.5 mm. long, margins smooth or occasionally scabrid, orifice us. scabrid; rarely contracted to a stipe c.0.2 mm. long. Stigmas 3. Nut c.1 mm. long, trigonous, obovoid, cream, surface minutely but deeply pitted giving angles of nut a serrate appearance.

Similar Taxa

Carex solandri is most often confused with C. dissita Boott, especially as both species often grow together. Carex dissita differs from C. solandri by the distant, dark brown, rather short and stout, usually shortly pedunculate female spikes. Further, the utricles are also distinctly bicoloured basally cream to yellow brown and red-purple to black above. C. solandri has long filiform peduncles and uniformly dark coloured utricles (rarely light brown and pale yellow near the base).


August - December


October - May

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by division of established plants. A popular species in cultivation, and often sold incorrectly as C. dissita. Prefers a permanently damp, semi-shaded site but once established can tolerate full sun and dry spells.


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).


Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (10 August 2006). 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.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 18 Jun 2015