Grasses, Sedges, Rushes (Natives & Exotics)
Grasses, sedges and rushes all are graminoids (Families of Poaceae, Juncaceae and Cyperaceae),
Grasses are of the Poaceae family.
The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns (turf) and grassland. Grasses can be either annuals or perennials.
Members of the grass family have the following features.
Leaves are ligulate (having the shape of a strap); sheaths are open, and the alternate leaves form two ranks (the leaves come out on the two opposite sides of the stem).
Stems are round, hollow at the internodes.
Fruits are grains.
Flowers are modified into glumes (a basal, membranous, outer sterile husk or bract), lemmas (specialised bracts enclosing a floret), and paleas (bract-like organs in the spikelet)
Parts of a single grass spikelet, consisting of two glumes, four fertile florets, with one additional central floret that may or may not be sterile.
A cross section of a grass stem. It is slightly flattened and is noticeably hollow.
Sedges are of the Cyperaceae family.
Sedges include many wild marsh and grassland plants. Sedges are all perennials
Members of the sedge family have the following features.
Stems are 3-sided and solid (with occasional exceptions).
Leaves sheaths are closed, spirally arranged in 3-ranked (three ranked means the leaves come out from three different sides of the stem).
Flowers are scales
Stems are 3-sided and solid.
Fruit are achene (simple dry fruit)
Rushes are a member of the Juncaceae family..
Rushes are slow-growing, rhizomatous, herbaceous plants, and they may superficially resemble grasses. A few rushes are annuals, but most are perennials.
Members of the Rush family have the following features.
Stems are cylindrical or slightly tapering and without substantial furrows or ridges and with a solid pith.
Leaf sheaths are open ligulate (thin outgrowth at the junction of leaf and leafstalk), sheaths open, 2-ranked (occur on two rows on opposite sides of the stems).
Fruit is a capsule with tiny dust-like seeds.
A cross section of a rush stem with a cylindrical shape and its vascular tissues is visible.
Agrostis muelleriana (Muellers Bent)
Anemanthele lessoniana (Gossamer grass)
Austroderia species (Toetoe)
Austroderia richardii (South Island Toe Toe)
Australopyrum calcis subsp. calcis (Limestone wheatgrass)
Chionochloa beddiei (Cook Strait Tussock)
Chionochloa bromoides (Seabird Tussock)
Chionochloa flavicans (Miniature Toe Toe)
Chionochloa pallens (Mid-ribbed snow tussock)
Chionochloa rubra rubra rubra (Red tussock)
Critesion marinum (Salt barley grass)
Festuca novae-zelandiae (Hard tussock)
Hierochloe redolens (karetu)
Lachnagrostis billardierei subsp. billardierei (Sand Wind Grass)
Microlaena stipoides (Weeping rice grass)
Miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass)
Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass)
Pennisetum macrourum (African feather grass)
Phyllostachys species (Bamboo)
Poa anceps (Broad-leaved poa)
Rytidosperma petrosum (Cook Strait bristle grass)
Rytidosperma setifolium (Bristle tussock)
Spiniflex sericeus (Beach Spinifex)
Apodasmia similis (Jointed wire rush)
Ficinia nodosa (Knobby club rush)
Juncus acutus (Spiny or sharp rush)
Juncus articulatus (Joint leaf rush) Exotic
Juncus lomatophyllus (Broad-leaved rush) Exotic
Carex appressa (Appressed sedge)
Carex buchananii (Buchanans sedge)
Carex comans (Longwood tussock)
Carex dipsacea (Teasel Sedge)
Carex flagellifera (Glen Murray tussock)
Carex forster (Bush sedge)
Carex inopinata (Grassy Mat Sedge)
Carex lambertiana (Forest sedge)
Carex lessoniana (Spreading swamp sedge)
Carex longebrachiata (Australian sedge)
Carex maorica (Maori sedge)
Carex morrowii (Morrows Sedge)
Carex oshimensis 'Everest' (Everest sedge)
Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (Oshima sedge)
Carex secta (Pukio)
Carex solandri (Solander's Sedge)
Carex tenuiculmis (Slender Niggerhead)
Carex trifida (Muttonbird Sedge)
Carpha alpina (Carpha)
Cyperus haspan (Dwarf papyrus)
Cyperus ustulatus (Giant umbrella sedge)
Ficinia spiralis (Pingao)
Gahnia pauciflora (Cutting sedge)
Gahnia xanthocarpa (Giant cutty grass, Mapere)
Isolepis prolifera (Proliferating Bulrush)
Schoenus pauciflorus (Sedge tussock)
Uncinia strictissima (Hook sedge)
Uncinia uncinata (Hook Grass)
Special thanks to the staff of Otari Native Botanic Garden, Wellington. These gardens are the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. There are around five hectares of cultivated native plant collections and about 96 hectares of mature and regenerating native forest. It is classified as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture.
The Cultivation of New Zealand Native grasses by Lawrie Metcalf.
Allan HH 1961. Flora of New Zealand, Volume 1. Wellington, Government Printer.
Eagle A 1982. Eagle's trees and shrubs of New Zealand. Second series. Auckland, Collins
Wilson H, Galloway T 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Christchurch, Manuka Press.
Flora of New Zealand Vol 1,2,3 by H.H.Allan
Wetlands of New Zealand by Janet Hunt
Nature guide to the NZ forest by Dawson& Lucas
Eagle's Trees & Shrubs of New Zealand
Eagle's 100 Shrubs & Climbers of NZ
Native Plants by L Metcalf
New Zealand in Flower By Alison Evans
Which Native Plant by Andrew Crowe
Hebes by Lawrie Metcalf
Vegetation of Egmont National Park by B Clarkson
Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand by Wilson& Galloway
The Flora of Great Walks by Richard Ryall
The Gardener's Encyclopaedia of NZ Native Plants
The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants
Mini Guide to the Identification of New Zealand Native Trees by Andrew Crowe
Photographic Guide to Trees of New Zealand by Lawrie Metcalf
Photographic Guide to New Zealand Ferns by Lawrie Metcalfe
New Zealand Small Shrubs and Trees by Murdoch Riley
New Zealand Trees and Ferns by Murdoch Riley
Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by A. L. Poole and Nancy Adams
Nature Guide to the New Zealand Forest by John Dawson and Rob Lucas
Know your New Zealand Native Plants by Lawrie Metcalf
New Zealand Flowers and Plants in Colour by J. T Salmon
New Zealand Medical Plants Brooker, Cambie Cooper
New Zealand Gardening A-Z by W.G. Sheat
Hebes Lawrie Metcalfe
NZ Native Trees by John Dawson & Rob Lucas
Above the Treeline by Alan E, Mark