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Cyperus odoratus L.
Family Cyperaceae
Cyperus odoratus L. APNI*

Synonyms: Torulinium odoratum (L.) Hooper APNI*
Cyperus ferax Rich. APNI*

Description: Tufted annual or perennial.

Culms trigonous to triquetrous, smooth, 20–120 cm high, to 6 mm diam.

Leaves not septate-nodulose, shorter or longer than culms, to 12 mm wide. Inflorescence compound or decompound with 7–12 primary branches to 20 cm long; spikes ovoid to oblong, 2–3 cm long, 1.5–3 cm diam.; involucral bracts leaf-like, 3–8 exceeding inflorescence. Spikelets terete, numerous per spike, spreading to reflexed, somewhat flexuous, 4–16-flowered, 5–25 mm long, 1–1.5 mm diam.; rachilla flexuous, corky and disarticulating when mature, broadly winged; spikelet breaking up into units of nut plus glume and associated corky internode of rachilla. Glumes obtuse, remote, with sides 2–4-nerved near midrib, 2–3.5 mm long, pale yellow to red-brown. Stamens 3. Style 3-fid.

Nut trigonous, obovoid, about half as long as glume, 1.3–2 mm long, 0.5–0.8 mm diam., pale to dark brown.


Flowering: summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows on creek banks and in swamps; in coastal areas, rare north from near Gerringong.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2009)
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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