Scientific Name:
Schoenus brevifolius R.Br. (1810)
  • = Chaetospora tenax Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 273 (1853)
  • Schoenus tenax (Hook.f.) Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 298 (1864)
  • Schoenus brevifolius subsp. tenax (Hook.f.) Kük. (1938)
  • Schoenus brevifolius var. tenax (Hook.f.) Koyama (1961)

Rush-like; rhizome coarse, woody, up to 8 mm. diam., covered with closely appressed, dark red, almost black, shining bracts. Culms 50–80–(100) cm. long, slightly < 2 mm. diam., closely packed, erect, rigid, smooth, green and shining, often shallowly grooved on one side. Lvs reduced to 3–4 very dark red, hard, mucronate sheaths, the 2 uppermost with a short, subulate, erect lamina; orifice of sheath not ciliate. Panicle (8)–12–20–(30) cm. long, very narrow, upright and stiff, occ. bent at the top, with ± distant fascicles of 3–5 branchlets, each fascicle subtended by a short sheath similar to those at base of culm; branchlets flexuous, flattened, with scabrid edges, often branched again, sheaths subtending secondary branchlets ciliate at the mouth. Spikelet terminating each branchlet 9–12 mm. long, 2–3–(4)-fld, lanceolate, red-brown Glumes 7–10–(14), ovate-lanceolate, acute, margins ciliate towards the tip, 4–6 lower glumes smaller, empty, 2–3 succeeding glumes fertile, uppermost 2–3 glumes sterile. Hypog. bristles 0. Stamens us. 2, occ. 3. Style-branches 3. Nut c. 1.5 × 1 mm., turgid, surface rugose, cream.

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

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
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. 1852–1853 ("1853"): 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. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Hooker, J.D. 1864: Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's and Macquarie's Islands. Part I. Reeve, London.