Common name: Black Bog-rush
Schoenus melanostachys R.Br. APNI*
Synonyms: Schoenus melanostyachys APNI*
Description: Perennial with short stout rhizome, forming big tussocks. Culms erect to weeping, more or less rigid, terete, striate, nodeless, 03–3.5 (?-4) m long, 1.3–2.5 mm diam.
Leaves with short obtuse blade to 0.5 cm long; sheath very dark red-brown to blackish, scaberulous, dull or glistening; mouth villous; ligule present as narrow line.
Inflorescence erect or drooping, narrow, 4–20 cm long, with spikelets loosely clustered at 4–7 nodes; lowest involucral bract to 0.3 cm long. Spikelets narrow-ovate, acute, 1–3-flowered, 4–10 mm long. Glumes 7–11, the lowest 4–6 empty, ovate, acute, dark red-brown to blackish, dull or glistening, with woolly or ciliate margins; fertile glumes 4–7 mm long. Bristles 0–5, not plumose, shorter than nut. Stamens 3; anthers 2.3–4.5 mm long.
Nut trigonous, ellipsoid, 1.5–1.7 mm long, c. 0.8 mm diam., scarcely 3-ribbed, transversely wrinkled, glabrous, dull, pale red-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Coastal areas, extending inland to eastern ranges of NT and Blue Mtns. Also in Qld and NE Vic.
Grows in damp areas, often in forest openings, or on moist rock-faces.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
A variable species, forming big tussocks (erect to weeping0 or cascading down moist rock-faces, whereas S. brevifolius has a spreading, linear rhizome with culms spread out along the rhizome.
Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (September 2014)
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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