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Lepidosperma laterale R.Br.
Family Cyperaceae
Lepidosperma laterale R.Br. APNI*

Synonyms: Lepidosperma lineare R.Br. APNI*
Lepidosperma laterale var. angustum Benth. APNI*
Lepidosperma angustifolium Hook.f. APNI*

Description: Tufted perennial with very short rhizome. Culms rigid, erect, flat to slightly convex on one face or concavo-convex, glabrous, smooth or rarely scabrous, 30–100 cm high, (2-)3–8 mm wide; margins scabrous or rarely smooth.

Leaves similar in form to culms but shorter, 3–8 mm wide; sheath reddish or dark grey-brown at base, straw-coloured at apex, rarely all straw-coloured, not viscid, ± shining. Inflorescence ± linear in outline, erect to somewhat spreading, 4–20(-38) cm long, 1–1.5 cm diam.; involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spikelets ± few, (4-)5–8.5 mm long. Glumes 4–6, puberulous, red-brown to grey-brown; 2–4 lowest empty, shorter than fertile glumes, acute, mucronate; fertile (3.5-)4.0–6.5 mm long, long-acute. Scales 6, a quarter to a third the length of nut, pale brown. Anthers c. 1.8 mm long, excluding appendage c. 0.7 mm long.

Nut ovoid, 2.5–4 mm long, 1.3–2.0 mm diam., pale to dark brown, wrinkled to smooth, shining.

Photo John R. Hosking

Photo Karen L Wilson

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo John R. Hosking

Other photo
Photo John R. Hosking



Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread, west to Lockhart area. Also Qld, Vic, Tas, SA; New Caledonia, New Zealand.

Grows in a range of habitats, especially woodland and forest, mostly on sandy soils, often on rocky hillsides.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

The style is sometimes 4-fid. A variable species, whose limits compared with L. gunnii and L. latens are not clear. Several varieties have been recognized in this species, but they do not seem to be useful categories. Further study is needed.

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson (2011, May 2020)
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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