Cyperus from the Latin 'cyperos' and derived from the Greek 'kypeiros', an ancient Greek name used by Homer and Theophrastus for several plants of this genus.
Distribution and status
Found in northern South Australia growing in ephemerally wet, open, often disturbed, situations. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and other parts of the world. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Annual sedge to 50 cm high. Stems slender to setaceous; triquetrous, solitary or tufted. Leaves narrow, flaccid, shorter or longer than the stems; bracts 2-5, spreading, the lower longer than the inflorescence. Flower-spike an umbel; very variable, simple or compound or loose, or in small specimens reduced to a small cluster; spikelets in well-developed inflorescences distinctly spicately arranged; bright-brown or golden to greenish, linear, 6-30-flowered, 4-20 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide; rhachilla not winged; glumes somewhat distant, very broad and obtuse, obovate in profile, with a 3-5-nerved back and practically nerveless sides; 1.25-1.75 mm long; style 3-branched. Flowering between January and June. Fruits are flat, brown fruit-head in loose clusters. Seeds are dark brown to black ovoid triangular seed to 1.3 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, with fine reticulate surface and covered with a thin shiny transparent layer. Seed embryo type is capitate.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between March and August. Collect fruits by picking off the mature heads, those turning brown and come-off easily. 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. Be careful, as the seeds are very small. Seeds are brown, ovoid and hard. 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
|No. of seeds
|100,000 (21.45 g)