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Caustis flexuosa R.Br.
Family Cyperaceae
Common name: Curly Wig

Caustis flexuosa R.Br. APNI*

Synonyms: Caustis restiacea F.Muell. ex Benth. APNI*

Description: Perennial with short rhizome.

Culms scabrous to smooth, 15–90 cm long, 1.5–2.5 mm diam.

Leaf sheaths dark red-brown to dark grey-brown. Inflorescence with 7–14 distant clusters of branches, 20–80 cm long, ultimate branches strongly curled to flexuous. Spikelets 2- (rarely 1-) flowered, 6–10 mm long, often ± falcate. Glumes 4 or 5 (rarely to 7), long-acute, mostly mucronate, dark red-brown, glabrous or sparsely puberulous, margins hyaline and glabrous, 6–10 mm long. Stamens 3 or 4; anthers 3.7–4.5 mm long, excluding appendage 0.3–0.5 mm long. Style 3-fid; persistent style base 1.5–3 mm long, dark purplish red.

Nut narrow-ellipsoid to ellipsoid, 3.5–5 mm long, 1.8–2.5 mm diam., whitish to straw-coloured, coarsely and irregularly reticulate, punctulate.


Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in dry sclerophyll forest on sandy soils, derived from sandstone or granite; coast and tablelands, extending west to the Warrumbungle Ra. and near Mudgee.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
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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