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Caustis blakei Kük. ex S.T.Blake
Family Cyperaceae
Caustis blakei Kük. ex S.T.Blake APNI*

Description: Perennial with short rhizome.

Culms smooth, 20–60 cm long, 2.3–3.5 mm diam. Leaf sheaths dark red-brown to dark grey-brown.

Inflorescence with 10–20 distant clusters of branches, 20–90 cm long, ultimate branches straight or slightly flexuous, numerous in dense clusters, with many sterile and leaf-like. Spikelets 1- or 2-flowered, 6–8 mm long. Glumes 3–5, long-acute, often long-mucronate, dark brown, glabrous, margins sparsely puberulous or glabrous, 5–7.5 mm long. Stamens 3 or 4; anthers 3.0–5.0 mm long, excluding appendage c. 0.7 mm long. Style 3-fid; style base yellow-brown, 1–2.5 mm long.

Nut ellipsoid to narrow-obovoid, 4.5–6.5 mm long, 2.3–2.8 mm diam., whitish to straw-coloured, punctulate, coarsely and irregularly reticulate.

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Flowering: spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, on sandy soils; coastal fixed dunes and ranges south to Crowdy Bay.
NSW subdivisions: NC
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

Because of its 'leafy' inflorescence, this may be confused with Baloskion tetraphyllum. The other subspecies is restricted to SE Qld.

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (March 2014)
Taxon concept: KL Wilson ((1993) Flora of NSW vol. 4

N.S.W. occurrences are: subsp. blakei

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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