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Carex polyantha F.Muell.
Family Cyperaceae
Carex polyantha F.Muell. APNI*

Description: Rhizome long; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous, smooth below, scabrous above, 20–80 cm long, c. 2.5 mm diam.

Leaves about as long as culms; blade 4–9 mm wide; sheath orange-brown; ligule acute to retuse.

Inflorescence erect, 10–55 cm long, with 5–8 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bracts exceeding inflorescence. Spikes sessile, distant, erect to spreading at maturity, 2–17 cm long, upper 1–5 spikes male or occasionally androgynous; lower spikes female or androgynous. Glumes very narrow, acute to acuminate, dark red-brown with paler midrib; female glumes 2–3.5 mm long. Perigynia (utricles) obovoid to ovoid, nerveless or faintly nerved, 2–3 mm long, c. 1.5 mm diam., glabrous, occasionally minutely papillose at apex, pale brown but densely red-dotted; short beak c. 0.3 mm long, with apex truncate or notched. Anthers 1.5–2.5 mm long excluding appendage to 0.1 mm long. Style 2-fid.

Nut obovoid, lenticular in cross section, pale yellow.

Photo J. Miles

Photo J. Miles

Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: On the coast and tablelands, only on the eastern edge of NWS (Warrabah N.P.).

Grows in swamps and creek banks.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Perigynium body usually tapers more abruptly to the beak than in C. gaudichaudiana and C. hypandra.

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
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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