Common name: Wire-head Sedge
Carex cephalotes F.Muell. APNI*
Description: Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, terete, smooth, 5–20( rarely to 30) cm long, 0.5–1 mm diam.
Leaves usually shorter than culms; blade 0.5–1.2 mm wide; sheath yellow-brown; ligule rounded to truncate.
Inflorescence erect, 0.5–1.2 cm long, with 1 spike; lowest involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spike androgynous (very short male portion). Male glumes obtuse, ± hooded, yellow-brown; female glumes obtuse to acute, yellow-brown tinged darker brown, with hyaline margins, 2.5–3 mm long. Perigynia (utricles) ellipsoid to ovoid, nerveless or irregularly few-nerved, 2.5–4 mm long, 1.0–1.4 mm diam., glabrous, greenish brown, orange-brown near apex; beak c. 0.5 mm long, with apex split, white. Anthers 0.8–1.2 mm long excluding appendage c. 0.1 mm long. Style 2-fid, rarely 3-fid.
Nut ellipsoid to ovoid, lenticular or rarely trigonous in cross section, pale yellow-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in alpine herbfields, possibly confined to the Kosciusko area.
NSW subdivisions: ST
Other Australian states: Vic.
Threatened species: ROTAP: 3RCa+
Both 2-fid and 3-fid styles may be found in the one inflorescence.
Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2016)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.