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, panicle-like, 5–25 cm long, with spikelets loosely clustered at 4–7 nodes; lowest involucral bract to 0.3 cm long. Spikelets narrow-ovate, acute, falcate, 1–4-flowered, 6–10 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 2.2–4.5 mm long.
Nut trigonous, ellipsoid or obovoid, 1.3–1.7 mm long, c. 0.8 mm diam., scarcely 3-ribbed, transversely wrinkled, glabrous, shining or dull, pale yellow-brown to 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 at least seasonally moist or 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 weeping, 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; June-July 2018)
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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