Common name: Alpine Fen-sedge
Carex hypandra F.Muell. ex Benth. APNI*
Description: Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous, smooth below, scabrous above, 10–35 cm long, c. 1.5 mm diam.
Leaves exceeding to equalling culms; blade 2–3.5 mm wide; sheath yellow-brown to black at very base; ligule acute to obtuse.
Inflorescence erect, narrow, 2–8 cm long, with 4–6 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract exceeding inflorescence. Spikes sessile, ± contiguous, erect at maturity, 0.5–2 cm long; uppermost spike gynaecandrous or occasionally male; lower spikes female. Glumes obtuse to truncate, very dark brown to black; female glumes 2–3 mm long. Perigynia (utricles) broad-ellipsoid to ovoid, strongly several-nerved, 2.4–3.3 mm long, 1.4–2 mm diam., minutely papillose near apex, otherwise colliculate, yellow-green tinged red-brown; short beak to 0.3 mm long, with apex truncate. Anthers 1.3–2 mm long excluding appendage to 0.2 mm long. Style 2-fid.
Nut broad-ellipsoid, lenticular in cross section, yellow-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: Mt Kosciusko area.
Grows in alpine swamps.
NSW subdivisions: ST
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas.
Very close to C. gaudichaudiana, and grows near it at Mt Kosciusko, where they may hybridize. Differs from C. gaudichaudiana in its more congested inflorescence, with the uppermost spike usually gynaecandrous, and in the slightly shorter but relatively broad utricle wih the mouth narrower, truncate, blackish and smooth (in C. gaudichaudiana notched to obliquely truncate, pallid and more or less minutely hispid).
Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2016)
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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