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Cyperus alterniflorus R.Br.
Family Cyperaceae
Cyperus alterniflorus R.Br. APNI*

Synonyms: Mariscus alterniflorus (R.Br.) C.B.Clarke APNI*

Description: Robust tussock-forming perennial, with short thick rhizome.

Culms triquetrous, smooth, or scabrous above, 40–140 cm high, to 5 mm diam.

Leaves often longer than culms, strongly septate-nodulose, to 12 mm wide. Inflorescence compound to decompound, with 3–8 primary branches to 15 cm long; clusters spicate to subdigitate, usually dense, hemispherical to globose, to 50 mm diam.; involucral bracts leaf-like, 2–4 much exceeding inflorescence. Spikelets flattened, few to numerous per cluster, 5–20 mm long, 2–4 mm wide in side view, 6–25-flowered; rachilla not to broadly winged; glume spacing 1.0–1.9 mm; spikelet falling as unit. Glumes broad-acute to obtuse, with mucro to 0.4 mm long, with sides 3- or 4-nerved, 2–3.5 mm long, golden brown to red-brown.. Stamens 3. Style 3-fid. . Stamens 3. Style 3-fid.

Nut trigonous, narrow-ellipsoid, nearly as long as glume, 1.6–2.3 mm long, 0.5–0.7 mm diam., pale red-brown to dark brown.


Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in semi-permanent moist situations such as stream banks and rocky gullies; scattered, west from Moonie R. and south to Roto.
NSW subdivisions: NWP, SWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. S.A.
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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