Plants of
South Australia
Carex inversa var. inversa
Cyperaceae
Knob Sedge
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Carex is the classical Latin name for sedge, perhaps from 'carere' meaning to be absent, as the upper spikes are staminate (male) and do not produce seeds. May have been used by Virgil for plants in this genus and derives from ancient Greek 'keiro' meaning to cut, referring to the sharp edge of leaf margins. Inversa from the Latin 'inversus' meaning turned upside down, referring to the male flowers being at the base rather than at the top.

Distribution and status

Found on southern Eyre Peninsula, Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east in South Australia growing in damp places. Also found in all States except Northern Territory. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Sedge with slender stems to 20 cm high. Leaves to 3 mm with. Bracts 2, leaf-like, close together, much longer than the inflorescence. Flower-spikes 2-4, sessile in a terminal cluster or one a little lower down, ovoid, to 10 mm long, with a few male flowers at the base, the greater part female; glumes acuminate, greenish or pallid tinged with yellow. Flowering between September and April. Fruits are green-brown, short clusters of heads each containing numerous individual fruit. Seeds are smooth brown ellipsoid seed to 2 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, covered by a papery layer with a pointed forked tip. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and April. Collect fruits either by running your hands along the heads; mature seeds will come-off easily, or cut whole heads that are brown, containing dark hard seeds. 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. From three collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA13,990 (13.99 g)33-Jan-2007RJB70982
Murray
1-Aug-2007100%+5°C, -18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.