Schoenoplectus subulatus (Vahl) Lye APNI*
Synonyms: Scirpus litoralis Schrad. APNI*
Schoenoplectus litoralis subsp. thermalis (Trab.) Murb. APNI*
Description: Tall, rhizomatous perennial.
Culms terete but trigonous below inflorescence, 60–150 cm high, 3–10 mm diam.
Leaves reduced. Inflorescence umbel-like, with branches 2–8 cm long, smooth or scabrous, with 1–3 spikelets per branch; involucral bract 2–10 cm long. Spikelets oblong-ovoid, acute, 8–15 mm long, 3–4 mm diam. Glumes obtuse or slightly retuse, shortly mucronate, 3.5–4 mm long, glabrous or rarely sparsely ciliate, red-brown, with hyaline margins. Hypogynous bristles flat or folded longitudinally, antrorsely plumose, about as long as nut. Style 2-fid.
Nut ellipsoid to obovoid, unequally biconvex, c. 2 mm long, 1.2–1.5 mm diam., smooth, shining, grey-brown to dark brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Scattered, south to near Nowra. Also in Qld, NT, SA, WA; Africa, India, Malesia, Marianas, New Caledonia.
Grows in coastal lakes and open swamps (in fresh or brackish water).
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. S.A. N.T.
Was formerly included in S. litoralis, which has culms triangular in cross-section and is found from the Mediterranean region east to China. Some botanists unite the two taxa, in which case the correct name is Schoenoplectus subulatus.
Text by K. L. Wilson 1993; edited July 2006, Aug 2012.
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
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