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Genus Anthelepis Family Cyperaceae

Description: Erect, small, short-lived perennials or annuals, forming compact tussocks. Culms not noded or 1(2)-noded, slender, rigid, usually finely grooved when dry, smooth.

Leaves all basal and spirally arranged, or sometimes 1 or 2 cauline at nodes, with a well-developed blade; blade flat to channelled above, scaberulous or glabrous on the margins; ligule absent.

Inflorescence compound, paniculiform or subracemose, with several internodes with 2–10 distant fascicles of branches; branches 1–4 at each node. Spikelets subsessile or pedicellate, in clusters of 2–24, usually 1-flowered, the rachis not elongated or flexuous. Glumes (floral bracts) 4–7, obscurely distichous; basal 2 or more glumes sterile; upper glume with a bisexual flower. Hypogynous bristles (3–)6, linear to lanceolate, margins with dense to scattered ciliate or ciliate-plumose hairs. Stamens 3; filaments glabrous. Style 3-fid, uniform or slightly swollen at the base.

Nutlet narrow-ellipsoid to obovoid, with 3 whitish ribs, slightly reticulate-rugulose at 40X magnification, papillate or shortly hispidulous at the apex, otherwise glabrous.

Photo R.L. Barrett

Photo R.L. Barrett

Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Near-coastal areas from Jervis Bay northwards.

Grows in damp places in heath on sandy soils, mainly in near-coastal vegetation

A genus of 4 species, 3 in Australia, 1 in New Caledonia. Differs from Schoenus in having lower flower male and upper female and rachilla not zigzag.

Text by R.L. Barrett & K.L. Wilson
Taxon concept: Barrett et al., Aust. Syst. Bot. 32: 276 (2019)

One species in NSW: Anthelepis paludosa

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