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Cyperus gymnocaulos Steud.
Family Cyperaceae
Cyperus gymnocaulos Steud. APNI*

Description: Tussock-forming perennial, occasionally proliferating, with short thick rhizome. Culms often trigonous above, otherwise terete, smooth, smaller and less robust than in C. vaginatus.

Leaves reduced to sheaths, except in juvenile plants.

Inflorescence head-like or with 1–3 subsidiary dense, globose clusters on branches to 2 cm long; digitate clusters to 10 mm diam.; involucral bracts very rigid, pungent, 2–4 obvious, shorter than to slightly exceeding inflorescence. Spikelets flattened, numeorus per cluster, 3–6 mm long, 2–3 mm wide in side view, 8–20-flowered; rachilla not winged, persistent. Glumes with 3-nerved midrib but often with 1 or 2 faint nerves on sides, 2–2.7 mm long, red-brown. Stamens 3. Style 3-fid.

Nut trigonous, ellipsoid, about half as long as glume, c. 1 mm long, 0.5–0.7 mm diam., yellow-brown to grey-brown.


Distribution and occurrence: Introduced on Central Coast (old Flemington saleyards - presumably now destroyed); occurs naturally on western slopes and plains. In all mainland States.

Grows on banks of streams, lakes and artesian bores.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. W.A. S.A. N.T.
AVH map***

C. gymnocaulos (a more inland species in NSW) and C. vaginatus are very closely related, and they seem to intergrade in some areas, e.g. in the Hunter Valley. C.gymnocaulos - C. vaginatus intergrades: NC NWS CWS SWS NWP; Qld, S.A., W.A..

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2008)
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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