Carex gaudichaudiana Kunth APNI*
Description: Rhizome long; shoots ± loosely tufted. Culms erect, triquetrous, scabrous, 10–90 cm long, c. 1 mm diam.
Leaves exceeding culms; blade 2–4 mm wide; sheath pale yellow-brown to orange-brown; ligule acute.
Inflorescence erect, 7–18 cm long, with 3–8 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spikes sessile, distant, erect to spreading at maturity; upper 1 or 2 spikes male, 2.5–6 cm long; lower spikes female or often male at apex or base, 1.5–4.5 cm long. Glumes often shortly mucronate, very dark red-brown with paler midrib; male glumes obtuse; female glumes obtuse to acute, 2.8–3.5 mm long. Perigynia (utricles) ovoid to ellipsoid, numerous-nerved, 2.7–4.5 mm long, 1.5–2.0 mm diam., minutely papillose at least near apex, pale green to brown, often red-dotted; short beak c. 0.3 mm long, with apex notched to truncate and occasionally minutely hispid. Anthers 2–3.3 mm long excluding appendage to 0.1 mm long. Style 2-fid, rarely 3-fid in some flowers in an inflorescence.
Nut globose to obovoid, lenticular in cross section, dark yellow-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread on coast and tablelands, only on eastern edge of NWS and SWS. One of our more widespread species: in eastern Australia, New Zealand and the highlands of New Guinea.
Grows in swamps and creek banks, from low altitude to alpine areas.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
Uppermost male spikes usually much longer than the lower spikes.
Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2016; July 2019)
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.