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Cyperus laevis R.Br.
Family Cyperaceae
Cyperus laevis R.Br. APNI*

Description: Small, tufted perennial, sometimes proliferating.

Culms triquetrous, smooth or sometimes scabrous above, 15–55 cm high, 0.7–1.7 mm diam.

Leaves not septate-nodulose, shorter than culms, 1.5–3 mm wide. Inflorescence a sessile digitate cluster to 15 mm diam. of 3–8 spikelets, rarely with 1 or 2 branches to 1 cm long; involucral bracts leaf-like, the lowest erect, exceeding the inflorescence. Spikelets flattened, to 25 mm long, 1.5–2 mm wide in side view, 6–20-flowered; rachilla not winged, persistent. Glumes with sides nerveless or faintly 1-nerved near midrib, 1.7–2 mm long, whitish to pale brown, often tinged brown. Stamens 3. Style 3-fid.

Nut trigonous, broad-obovoid, about half as long as glume, c. 1.0 mm long, c. 0.8 mm diam., dark red-brown.

Photo Richard W Medd

Photo Richard W Medd

Photo Richard W Medd

Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in forest, mostly in shady moist situations; north from Jervis Bay and Araluen, inland to a few localities in the Blue Mountains, the upper Hunter Valley and Wilsons Downfall.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, CWS
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

Close to C. imbecillis, which differs in its more excurved apex to the glume, its mostly smaller glumes, and the more frequent presence of branches in the inflorescence.

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (Dec 2014, May 2021)
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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