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Common name: Star Sedge, Star Sedge
Carex echinata Murray APNI*
Description: Rhizome very short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous to subterete, smooth, 4–30 (occasionally to 70) cm long, c. 0.5 mm diam.
Leaves shorter than to exceeding culms; blade 0.5–1.5 mm wide; sheath pale brown; ligule rounded.
Inflorescence small, narrow, erect, 1–3 cm long, with 3–5 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract very short. Spikes sessile, ± distant, spreading widely at maturity, 0.3–0.7 cm long; uppermost spike gynaecandrous; lower spikes female. Glumes acute to obtuse, pale red-brown with green midrib and broad hyaline margins; female glumes 1.5–2.5 mm long. Utricles ovoid, ± falcate, with truncate thickened base, faintly nerved, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 1.0–1.3 mm diam., hispid on upper margins, yellow-brown; prominent beak c. 1 mm long, with apex 2-fid or notched. Anthers c. 0.8 mm long excluding appendage c. 0.1 mm long. Style 2-fid.
Nut ovoid to broad-ellipsoid, lenticular in cross section, yellow-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in high altitude areas to alpine areas; near Ebor, Clarence, and in the Mt Kosciusko area.
NSW subdivisions: NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Vic.
Mature inflorescences have utricles spreading, forming star-shaped clusters.
Text by K. L. Wilson
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
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