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Gahnia clarkei Benl
Family Cyperaceae
Common name: Tall Saw-sedge

Gahnia clarkei Benl APNI*

Description: Tall tussock-forming perennial. Culms stout, 80–200 cm high, 3–10 mm diam.

Leaves flat, recurved, scabrous, as long as culms; ligule narrow, papery; sheaths pinkish to brown, dull or with some shining patches.

Inflorescence big, erect to spreading, with relatively long lax branches, 50–125 cm long, with 10–14 nodes. Spikelets 2-flowered. Glumes 12–17, the lowest 7–10 glumes much shorter and mucronate or split apically, brown to dark grey-brown, glabrous, with apex of upper glumes obtuse. Stamens 3–6; anthers 1.3–2 mm long excluding apical appendage c. 0.2 mm long. Style 3-fid.

Nut ovoid to ellipsoid or rarely obovoid, obscurely trigonous, 2.5–3.0 mm long, 1.5–1.8 mm diam., smooth, reticulate, shining, orange to red.

Photo T.M. Tame

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Flowering: Spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Coastal districts, extending inland to Blue Mtns and to Braidwood area.

Grows on creek banks and near swampy areas.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, CT
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

Differs from G. grandis (the only other species with numerous short glumes at the base of the spikelet) in the nut shape and size, anther length, length of stamen filaments, and inflorescence form.

Text by K. L. Wilson
Taxon concept: KL Wilson in 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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