Description: Tufted or rhizomatous perennials. Culms several-noded, leafy.
Leaves both basal and cauline, blades well-developed; ligule usually present.
Inflorescence compound, much-branched, with many scabrous branches and numerous spikelets (solitary or clustered); involucral bracts several, leafy. Spikelets numerous-flowered, terete. Glumes spirally arranged. Hypogynous bristles 6 [or fewer], weak and filiform, 2–3 times as long as the nut but at maturity strongly crisped or contorted, sparsely and minutely antrorsely scabrous at least distally [or completely smooth]. Stamens 3 [or fewer]. Style 3- [or 2-] fid.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, mainly cold temperate Northern Hemisphere, especially North America, Asia. Australia: 2 species (1 species endemic, 1 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic.
Text by K. L. Wilson
|One species in NSW: Scirpus polystachyus|