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Carpha alpina R.Br.
Family Cyperaceae
Carpha alpina R.Br. APNI*

Description: Tufted perennial, very shortly rhizomatous.

Culms rigid, glabrous, striate but smooth, 2–10 cm high, 0.7–1.5 mm diam.

Leaves ± stiff, somewhat channelled, flattened distally, mostly shorter than the culms, 0.5–1.5(-2) mm wide; sheath yellow-brown, striate but shining. Inflorescence of 1–3 loose clusters, 1–10 cm long; 1 or 2 involucral bracts as long as or slightly exceeding inflorescence. Spikelets 2–10 per cluster, 8–12 mm long. Glumes mostly papery, straw-coloured, very narrow-elliptic, acute, keeled above, the lowest 2 or 3 empty, about half the length of the upper glumes, two larger glumes 8.5–9.5 mm long, with a bristly or ± linear empty glume above. Hypogynous bristles 7–10 mm long, pale red-brown, plumose except the tips antrorsely scabrous for 1–1.5 mm. Anthers c. 2.3 mm long, excluding apical appendage c. 0.1 mm long.

Nut narrow-ellipsoid, on a short stipe c. 0.5 mm long, the body 2.5–3.5 mm long, 0.8–1.0 mm diam., the persistent style base 3–5 mm long; minutely reticulate, glistening, pale to dark red-brown. Flower summer.

Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: in bogs, fens and other wet alpine and subalpine areas, often colonizing disturbed sites; in the Kosciusko area.
NSW subdivisions: ST
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas.
AVH map***

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
***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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