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Sedges - native and introduced. (Cyperaceae)

Scientific name index
Common name index
Other sedges


Sedges make up a large family. Most, but not all, are found in swampy, wet or damp locations. A typical flower consists of a single modified leaf (the glume) that covers the seed [see illustration right]. The seed may be absent (an infertile flower), or there may also be anthers (bisexual flower), or there may be anthers only (a male flower), or the bract may be empty. None of the sedges have showy petals. There may be many flowers arranged along a common stalk (a spikelet) and there may be many spikelets (illustration far right). In a few sedges, the seed is contained in a bottle-like bag.

Forest plants with leafy tussocks         Flower clusters cylindrical, stems hollow

img Variable Sword-sedge (Lepidosperma laterale) Flower stalks flat. Flowers scattered. Common.
img Wire Rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma semiteres) Flower stalks roundish with angles or with a flat edge. Flowers scattered. Stalks often flexuose. Scattered.
img Variable Sword-sedge (Lepidosperma curtisiae) Flower stalks rounded, erect. Flowers few, clustered. Scattered.
img Thatch Saw-sedge (Gahnia radula) Wet forest flats. Dark flower clusters. Leafy to 2m.
spike rush Tall Spike-rush (Eleocharis sphacelata). Stems wide (5mm or more), in water. 1m-2m high.
spike rush Common Spike-rush (Eleocharis acuta) Stems less than 3mm wide, less than 50cm high. Mud flats. Common.
rush Small Spike-rush (*Eleocharis pusilla) Stems narrow (0.5mm), to 15mm high, flower custers egg-shaped. Uncommon.

Tall, leafy sedges. Flowers in single terminal cylindrical clusters

img Tall Sedge (Carex appressa) Leafy tussocks with triangular flower stalks 1m or more. Flowers in long terminal clusters. Leaf prickles point upwards. Common.
img Hillside Sedge (Carex incomitata) Like Tall sedge, but leaf prickles point downwards. Uncommon.
img Rush Sedge (Carex tereticaulis) Like Tall Sedge, but flower stalks round, not triangular. Moderately common.

Miscellaneous sedges

img Awned Club-rush (*Isolepis hystrix) Small sedge (5cm), flowers spiky looking.
img Club-rush (Isolepis marginata) Small sedge c5cm. Glumes arranged spirally. Flowering stalks much exceed the leaves.
img Tiny Flat-sedge (*Isolepis levynsiana) Small tufted sedge. Spikelets in 2s or 3s; flowers arranged oppositely in spikelets, floral bracts longer thn flowers.
img Floating Club-rush (Isolepis fluitans) Submerged sedge, with flower stalks. Weak stems.
img Swamp Club-rush (Isolepis inundata) Slender erect sedge. Flowers clustered into balls, new flower clusters form from original cluster.
img Tall Flat-sedge (Cyperus exaltatus) By streams. Large sedge with very numerous brown flower clusters.
img Creeping Flat-sedge (Cyperus lhotskyanus By streams. Medium size (to 1m). Numerous flower clusters.
img Flecked Flat-sedge (Cyperus gunnii) By streams. Medium size (to 1m). Numerous small flower clusters.
img Dark Flat-sedge (Cyperus sanguinolentus) Swampy places. Flower clusters often appear striped.
img Globe Kylinga (Cyperus sphaeroideus) Damp areas. Flower clusters ball-shaped, with slender leafy bracts.
img River Club-rush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) Large rush-like plant. Branched flower stalks with small flower clusters.
img Tassel Sedge (Carex fascicularis) Flowers on slender stalks, drooping. Male and female flowers in separate clusters.
img Sedge (Carex gaudichaudiana)Male and female flowers in separate erect clusters, between leaves.
img Knob Sedge (Carex inversa) Medium sedge, usually c30cm high. Flowers in terminal clusters, with leafy bracts exceeding the flowers.
img Divided Sedge (*Carex divisa) Flowers in small terminal clusters. Leafy bracts short. Common.
img Drain Flat-sedge (*Cyperus eragrostis) Green flowers. Weedy places e.g. drains. Long leafy bracts from flower bases.
img Soft Twig-rush (Baumea rubignosa) Swards. Rare.
img Common Bog-rush (Schoenus apogon) Small branched leafy plant. Narrow black flowers from between the leaves. Common.

img Marsh Bog-rush (Bolboschoenus medianus) Flower clusters have a fuzzy appearance. Uncommon.