Common name: Brown Sedge
Carex disticha Huds. APNI*
Description: Rhizomatous perennial, with culms spread out along relatively stout rhizome. Culms 20–100 cm tall, triquetrous, scabrous on the angles.
Leaves shorter than culms, blades 2–4 mm wide, mid-green; ligule obvious, broadly acute, 3–7 mm long; sheaths green to pale brown.
Inflorescence dense, 2–7 cm long, head-like with short lateral branches more or less upright and appressed to main axis; involucral bracts glume-like except for lowest, which is leaf-like, shorter than the inflorescence; spikes numerous, short, closely packed, more or less sessile; terminal spike female or with a few male spikelets at apex, intermediate spikes male, lower spikes female or gynaecandrous; male glumes 4–5 mm long, acute, pale red-brown with obvious hyaline margins; female glumes 3.5–4.5 mm long, acute, pale red-brown with obvious hyaline margins. Perigynia (utricles) ovate in outline, pale red-brown at maturity, with lateral scabrous wings and several more or less prominent nerves on both faces, 4–5 mm long; beak c. 1 mm long, split for c. 0.1 mm. Style 2-fid.
Nut ovate in outline, lenticular in cross-section, shortly stalked, mid-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Occasionally naturalised on the South Coast (Batemans Bay area and Tantawangalo/Bemboka area) and Southern Tablelands (area including SE Forests National Park Tantawangalo Section); also in Vic. Native to Europe. First collected in NSW in 2002 from the Tantawangalo area and in 2004 from near Nimmitabel. It could be more widely naturalised but overlooked since it may be confused with the native species Carex appressa (which grows with it but forms big tussocks without the extended rhizomes), C. chlorantha (which is rhizomatous but much smaller) or C. gaudichaudiana.
In and around swamps.
NSW subdivisions: *SC, *ST
Other Australian states: *Vic.
Text by KL Wilson (Apr 2014); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2016; Oct 2017; Dec 2017)
Taxon concept: AC Jermy, DA Simpson, MJY Foley & MS Porter (2007) Sedges of the British Isles edn 3
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.