Lepyrodia cryptica B.G.Briggs & L.A.S.Johnson APNI*
Description: Dioecious, forming diffuse patches of clusters of culms joined by rhizomes. Rhizome creeping, c. 5 mm diam.; scales red-brown, scarious, extending to c. 4 cm up the culm. Culms usually closely spaced, occasionally to 1 cm apart, erect, terete to slightly flattened, 40–90 cm long, 0.6–1.8 mm diam., smooth to slightly rugose, simple, with branched inflorescence.
Sheaths 4 or 5, persistent, 1.5–4.0 cm long, loose, lax or reflexed, usually with inrolled margins, red- to dull-brown, obtuse to truncate; auricles membranous; lamina erect, to c. 5 mm long.
Inflorescence 2.5–11 cm long; branches to 4 cm long, moderately crowded with flowers, lower branches spaced further apart on the culm, upper branches more clustered; spathes usually exceeding branches, 1.3–2.0 cm long; bracteoles 2, shorter than the tepals, cuspidate. Male flowers: tepals rigid, yellow-brown, lanceolate; outer tepals longer, 3.2–4.0 mm long; inner tepals 2.9–3.5 mm long; filaments c. 2.0 mm long; anthers c. 2.0 mm long. Female flowers: tepals similar to males; outer tepals 3.0–4.2 mm long; inner tepals 2.5–3.5 mm long.
Seeds ellipsoidal, 1.2 mm long, 0.7 mm wide, colliculate with small cells which are prominently ridged.
Distribution and occurrence: Central Tablelands to northern edge of Southern Tablelands, from near Mt Coricudgy (N of Lithgow) south to near Fitzroy Falls and Penrose.
On sandy soil in seasonally or permanently damp sites on sandstone, in seepage areas, in heath, shrubland or eucalypt woodland.
NSW subdivisions: CC, CT, ST
This can be difficult to distinguish from L. scariosa if the seed ornamentation (or the pattern of this imprinted on the inner face of the capsule) is not visible, so male plants may be particularly difficult to distinguish. It generally has a more compact inflorescence with shorter, more abruptly tapered spathes and smaller flowers in both males and females. It appears to hybridise with L. anarthria where their ranges overlap.
Text by BG Briggs and KL Wilson (Oct 2012); edited KL Wilson (Feb 2014)
Taxon concept: BG Briggs and LAS Johnson (2012) Telopea 14: 24
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.