Scientific Name:
Marsippospermum gracile (Hook.f.) Buchenau (1879)
  • Rostkovia gracilis Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. I. (Fl. Antarct.) Part I, 83, t.47 (1844)
  • = Juncus hookeridis Steud., Syn. Pl. Glumac. 2, 307 (1855)
  • = Rostkovia novae-zelandiae Buchanan, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 4: 227 (1872)
  • Marsippospermum gracile var. novae-zelandiae (Buchanan) Buchenau (1890)
Vernacular Name(s):
Alpine rush

Densely tufted. Rhizome c. 5 mm. diam., us. horizontal in plants from South Id, and ascending in plants from Auckland and Campbell Is. Stems (8)–12–30–(40) cm. × c. 0.5 mm., very closely crowded on the rhizome; basal bracts , reddish brown, the upper conspicuously mucronate. Lvs ± = or much > flowering stems, slightly < 1 mm. wide, terete, rigid, striated, bright green, shining. Fl. 1.5–3 cm. long; single subtending bract inconspicuous, < 3 mm. long, membr., pale cream, tip obtuse. Tepals 6, unequal, linear-subulate, acute, pale brown with membr. margin. Stamens 6, c. ⅔ length of mature capsule; anthers much > filaments, connective apiculate. Capsule c. ½ length of tepals, linear-oblong, coriac., chestnut-brown, mucronate, dehiscing longitudinally towards the apex. Seeds c. 2.5 mm. long, oblong-elliptical, straw-coloured, shining, tails white, unequal in length.

[From: Moore and Edgar (1970) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 2.]

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowering: Dec.–Feb.; Fruiting: Jan.–Mar.

Buchanan, J. 1872 ("1871"): On some New Species of New Zealand Plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 4: 224–227.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Hooker, J.D. 1844–1845: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. I. Flora Antarctica. Part I. Botany of Lord Auckland’s Group and Campbell’s Island. Reeve, Brothers, London.
Steudel, E.G. 1855: Synopsis Plantarum Glumacearum. Vol. 2. Stuttgart.