Plants of
South Australia
Apodasmia brownii
Coarse Twine-rush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 6

Prior names

Leptocarpus brownii


Apodasmia from the Greek 'apodasmios' meaning separated, referring to the widely disjunct distribution of the species in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Brownii named after Robert Brown (1773-1858), a Scottish botanist and palaeobotanist who made important contributions to botany largely through his pioneering use of the microscope and accompany Matthew Flinders' expedition to Australia.

Distribution and status

Found in the lower Eyre Peninsula, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing on sandy soils in heathlands, on edges of estuaries and saltmarshes, and along lake margins, fringing peat bogs and springs. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Dioecious, rush-like perennial herb with short creeping, hairy rhizomes and erect, straight, unbranched, greyish-green stems to 100 cm long. Sheathing leaves light brown to greyish, closely appressed, to 7 mm long. Inflorescences are clusters of drooping spikelets with short compact golden-brown heads. Flowering throughout the year but mainly between September to February. Fruits are brown spike at the tip of stems. Seeds are tiny golden-brown oblong-elliptical to 1 mm long and 0.4 mm wide with a fine reticulated surface. Seed embryo type is broad.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and April. Collection mature heads, those turning brown. Either cut the whole heads or strip the fruit from the heads with your hands. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.