Common name: Pithy Sword-sedge
Lepidosperma longitudinale Labill. APNI*
Synonyms: Lepidosperma exaltatum R.Br. APNI*
Description: Clump-forming perennial with short thick rhizome. Culms rigid but compressible, erect, thickly biconvex, glabrous, smooth, 60–200 cm high, 5–10 mm wide; margins acute but smooth, yellowish.
Leaves similar in form to culms but shorter and often less strongly biconvex, 3–10 mm wide; sheath yellow-brown to grey-brown at base, often reddish near apex (culm bases similarly coloured), not viscid, shining.
Inflorescence elongated-oblong in outline, narrow-erect to spreading, dense, 15–50 cm long, 2–8 cm diam.; involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spikelets numerous, 6–8 mm long. Glumes 5–7, acute, often mucronate, red-brown; lowest 1–3 empty, shorter than fertile glumes; fertile 5–6 mm long. Scales 6, a quarter to half the length of nut, whitish. Anthers 1.8–3.2 mm long, excluding appendage 0.5–0.8 mm long.
Nut narrow-ellipsoid, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 1.5–1.7 mm diam., pale to dark brown, smooth, shining.
Distribution and occurrence: mainly in coastal areas, extending inland to lower Blue Mtns (Glenbrook).
Grows in swampy areas.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A.
The culms can be readily compressed with the fingers, and the margins are not cutting, unlike those of L. limicola.
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.