Juncus microcephalus Kunth APNI*
Description: Tufted or shortly rhizomatous perennial. Culms terete or slightly compressed, 20–80(-120) cm long, 0.9–3 (rarely to 4) mm diam.
Leaves unitubulose, several basal and 1 to 2 spread along culms, shorter than to equalling culms; blade terete to slightly compressed, 0.8–3.5 mm diam.; auricles 1.2–3.5(-5) mm long.
Inflorescence terminal, diffuse, 4–18(-30) cm long; flowers clustered at apex of branches, 3–15 (rarely to 35) flowers per hemispherical cluster and 5–35 clusters per inflorescence; involucral bract 1, well-developed, 1.4–6 (-12) cm long, much shorter than inflorescence. Tepals usually red-brown or occasionally straw-brown, with hyaline to whitish margins; outer tepals 2.0–3.6 (rarely to 4.5) mm long, slightly longer than inner tepals. Stamens 6, shorter than outer tepals; anthers 0.4–0.7 mm long.
Capsule shorter than to equalling outer tepals, obovoid to ellipsoid, obtuse, apiculate, dark red-brown at least near apex, otherwise pale yellow-brown. Seeds 0.4–0.5 mm long, c. 0.2 mm diam.
Distribution and occurrence: Occasionally recorded near Grafton, Newcastle, Sydney region and Nowra. Also sparingly naturalised in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and New Zealand. Native of Latin America from Mexico to Argentina.
In damp, disturbed situations.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *CT
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *W.A.
Previously confused with the closely related J. pallescens Lam., which is more commonly naturalized here.
Text by K.L. Wilson, L.A.S. Johnson & P. Bankoff (1993); edited KL Wilson (Nov 2022)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
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