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Scirpus polystachyus F.Muell.
Family Cyperaceae
Common name: Large-headed Club-rush

Scirpus polystachyus F.Muell. APNI*

Description: Robust tufted perennial, with short, stout rhizome.

Culms terete to trigonous, erect, smooth, 50–200 cm long, 2.5–5 mm diam.

Leaves shorter than culms, to 7 mm wide; sheaths green to yellow-brown, persistent as fibrous remains; ligule mostly present on basal leaves. Inflorescence oblong to ovate in outline, (6-)10–30 cm long, with slender drooping branches. Spikelets 6–9 mm long. Glumes obtuse to acute, occasionally shortly mucronate, glabrous, dark green-grey with prominent green midrib, c. 2.5 mm long. Anthers 1.2–1.7 mm long, excluding appendage to 0.1 mm long.

Nut ellipsoid to obovoid, plano-convex or with a distinct dorsal angle, 1.2–1.5 mm long, 0.6–0.8 mm diam., ± glistening, punctulate, pale yellow-brown.

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo J. R. Hosking

Flowering: summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in creeks and in swampy areas on higher tablelands, extending to higher coastal ranges; also SE Queensland and Victoria. Naturalised in New Zealand.
NSW subdivisions: NC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Text by K. L. Wilson (1993); edited KL Wilson July 2022
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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