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Carex tereticaulis F.Muell.
Family Cyperaceae
Carex tereticaulis F.Muell. APNI*

Description: Rhizome thick, long; shoots ± densely tufted. Culms erect, terete to subtrigonous, glabrous, 40–120 cm long, 2–4 mm diam.

Leaves reduced, much shorter than culms; blade to 20 cm long, 2–4 mm wide; sheath very dark yellow-brown; ligule acute to obtuse.

Inflorescence erect, narrow, 1.5–6 (rarely to 10) cm long, compound with numerous short spikes clustered at nodes or on spike-like secondary branches to c. 1.5 cm long; lowest involucral bract very short. Spikes sessile, contiguous, erect at maturity, c. 0.5 cm long; all spikes androgynous. Glumes obtuse to acute, orange-brown with white or hyaline margins; female glumes 2.5–2.8 mm long. Perigynia (utricles) ellipsoid, rather thickened at base, strongly several-nerved, 2.2–4 mm long, 1.3–2.3 mm diam., hispid on upper winged to ribbed margins, pale brown tinged orange-brown to dark yellow-brown; short beak c. 0.7 mm long, with apex 2-fid. Anthers c. 2 mm long excluding appendage c. 0.2 mm long. Style 2-fid.

Nut broad-ellipsoid to obovoid, lenticular in cross section, dark brown.


Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: From Guyra (NT) south along the tablelands and west along the Murray River valley to the Barham area, with few old records from the Sydney region.

Grows in low-lying, seasonally inundated habitats.
NSW subdivisions: CC, NT, ST, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A.
AVH map***

Differs from the related C. appressa in its terete, smooth, grey-green rather than yellow-green culms, the reduced leaves, and in the utricle, which is thickened at the base but not truncate. The two species grow together in some places and hybridise there.

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993; edited Aug 2011; 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.
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