Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Carex L., Sp. Pl. 972 (1753)
  • = Uncinia Pers., Syn. Pl. (Persoon) 2, 534 (1807 [1806])
  • = Vignea P.Beauv. ex T.Lestib. (1819)
Type Taxon:
Vernacular Name(s):
Cyperus sedge; Makura; Mārū; mātā; mātātā; Pūkio; Pūrei; Pūreirei; Pūrekireki; Sedge

Perennial herbs, tufted, rhizomatous or stoloniferous. Stems usually 3-angled and solid, rarely terete and hollow. Leaves tristichous, usually linear, mostly crowded at base of stem and sheathing, sheath closed, with a minute, membranous ligule. Plants usually monoecious, rarely dioecious. Inflorescence a spike, cluster of spikes, or panicle; bracts leaf-like or setaceous. Spikes sessile or pedunculate, unisexual or bisexual, composed of numerous 1-flowered spikelets, each subtended by a glume. Flowers unisexual, perianth 0. Male flower with 3 stamens (rarely 2). Female flower a single pistil enclosed in an utricle; style 1, branched above to 2 or 3 stigmas projecting from utricle. Nut trigonous or biconvex, enclosed within persistent utricle.

[From: Healy and Edgar (1980) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 3.]

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Number of species in New Zealand within Carex L.
Indigenous (Endemic)97
Indigenous (Non-endemic)16
Exotic: Fully Naturalised24
Exotic: Casual5
Global Carex Group 2015: Making Carex monophyletic (Cyperaceae, tribe Cariceae): a new broader circumscription. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 179: 1–42.
Hamlin, B.G. 1959: A Revision of the Genus Uncinia (Cyperaceae Caricoideae) in New Zealand. Dominion Museum Bulletin 19: 1–106. [as Uncinia Pers.]
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Persoon, C. H. 1806–1807: Synopsis plantarum, seu enchiridium botanicum, complectens enumerationem systematicam specierum hucusque cognitarum. Vol. 2. Cramerum et Tubingæ, Paris.