Juncus capensis Thunb. APNI*
Description: Tufted, shortly rhizomatous perennial. Culms ± terete, 20–50 cm long, 1–1.5 mm diam.
Leaves basal, shorter than culms; blade flat to involute to canaliculate, 1–1.5 mm wide; auricles absent; sheath pale yellow.
Inflorescence 3–8 cm long, diffuse, with flowers clustered at apex of branches, 3–15 per cluster and 8–25 clusters per inflorescence; involucral bract 1, well-developed, 2–14 cm long, longer than or occasionally shorter than inflorescence. Tepals straw-brown, occasionally darker near apex (to red-brown); outer tepals 3.8–5.0 mm long, longer than inner tepals, with narrow yellowish margins; inner tepals with broad hyaline margins. Stamens 6, shorter than outer tepals; anthers 0.9–1.5 mm long.
Capsule much shorter than outer tepals, oblong to narrow-ellipsoid to obovoid, acute to obtuse, long-beaked, straw-brown to red-brown near apex.
Distribution and occurrence: Naturalized in Sydney (Centennial Park to Botany Bay). Native of S Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *CC
Although the species lacks auricles, the thin margins of the sheath often split downwards irregularly for up to 4 mm, mimicking auricles. Form introduced in Sydney area is apparently var. macranthus Adamson, which is more robust and with longer anthers than is typical for the species.
Text by K. L. Wilson, L. A. S. Johnson & P. Bankoff (1993); edited KL Wilson (July 2016, Nov 2022)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
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