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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Uncinia
Type species
Uncinia australis
Synonyms [2]
  • Agistron Raf.

Uncinia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cyperaceae, known as hook-sedges in Australia[3] and as hook grasses or bastard grasses in New Zealand.[4] The genus is characterised by the presence of a long hook formed by an extension of the rachilla,[5] which is used to attach the fruit to passing animals (epizoochory), especially birds,[6] and it is this feature which gives the genus its name, from the Latin uncinus, meaning a hook or barb.[7]


Uncinia is a "satellite genus" of the very large genus Carex, alongside other satellites such as Cymophyllus, Kobresia, Schoenoxiphium, Vesicarex.[8] Uncinia seems to form a monophyletic group, with the most distinct species being U. kingii, a species which has sometimes been placed in the genus Carex.[5] Similarly, Carex microglochin has sometimes been included in Uncinia, as U. microglochin.[9]


Uncinia has a Gondwanan distribution,[5] with most species found Australia, New Zealand and South America,[3] as far north as Mexico and Jamaica.[10] Of the 50–60 species, 30 are endemic to New Zealand,[11] 6 are endemic to the east coast of Australia,[3] and 4 are endemic to the Juan Fernández Islands.[12] Smaller numbers of species are also found in New Guinea, Borneo, the Philippines, Hawaii, Tristan da Cunha, Kerguelen, Île Amsterdam, Île Saint-Paul, and the Prince Edward Islands, although none are known from the mainland of Africa.[10] This distribution suggests that the genus had an origin in Antarctica.[13]

It contains the following species:


  1. ^ "Uncinia". Flora of Australia Online. Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ a b c National Herbarium of New South Wales. "Genus Uncinia". New South Wales Flora Online. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  4. ^ Peter Johnson (2009). "Wetlands — Reeds, rushes, sedges and low growers'". Te Ara — the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  5. ^ a b c Julian R. Starr & Bruce A. Ford (2009). "Phylogeny and evolution in Cariceae (Cyperaceae): current knowledge and future directions". The Botanical Review. 75 (1): 110–137. doi:10.1007/s12229-008-9020-x. S2CID 38500919.
  6. ^ Charles T. Bryson and Richard Carter (2008). "The Significance of Cyperaceae as Weeds" (PDF). In Robert A. Naczi & Bruce A. Ford (ed.). Sedges: Uses, Diversity, and Systematics of the Cyperaceae. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. pp. 15–101. ISBN 978-1-930723-72-6.
  7. ^ "Uncinia". Flora of Australia Online. Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  8. ^ Julian Richard Starr (2002). "Systematics of Uncinia Pers. (Cyperaceae)" (PDF). Oxford Plant Systematics. 9: 4–5.
  9. ^ Julian R. Starr, Stephen A. Harris and David A. Simpson (2004). "Phylogeny of the unispicate taxa in Cyperaceae Tribe Cariceae I: generic relationships and evolutionary scenarios". Systematic Botany. 29 (3): 528–544. doi:10.1600/0363644041744455. S2CID 86230977.
  10. ^ a b E. Nelmes (1949). "Notes on Cyperaceae: XX. The genus Uncinia in Malaysia". Kew Bulletin. 4 (2): 140–145. doi:10.2307/4113666. JSTOR 4113666.
  11. ^ L. B. Moore & E. Edgar (1970). "Uncinia Pers., 1807". Flora of New Zealand. Volume II: Indigenous Tracheophyta — Monocotyledons except Graminae. ISBN 0-477-01889-0.
  12. ^ Gerald A. Wheeler (2007). "Carex and Uncinia (Cyperaceae, Cariceae) from the Juan Fernández archipelago, Chile". Darwiniana. 45 (1).
  13. ^ E. Nelmes (1951). "Facts and speculations on phylogeny in the Tribe Cariceae of the Cyperaceae". Kew Bulletin. 6 (3): 427–436. doi:10.2307/4118022. JSTOR 4118022.