Gahnia named after Dr. Henricus Gahn, 19th century Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus. Clarkei named after Charles Baron Clarke (1832-1906), a British botanist who wrote several books on Cyperaceae.
Distribution and status
Found in South Australia only in the lower South-east, growing along water-courses and in swamps but can tolerate somewhat saline conditions. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium region: South Eastern
NRM region: South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Tall tussock-forming perennial sedge with woody rhizomes and sprawling, elongated, cane-like culms to 2 m long. Leaf-blades flat, recurved, scabrous, mostly shorter than culms; sheaths pinkish to brown, dull or with some shining patches. Inflorescence erect and spreading with long lax branches to 125 cm long. Flowering in spring and summer. Fruits are large dark brown spike. Seeds are orange-red ovoid seed to 3.5 mm long and 2 mm wide, with a shiny and smooth surface. Seed embryo type is capitate.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between December and April. Collect heads that are dying off, turning dark brown with obvious hard orange-red seeds. Break off whole spike or collect individual spikelets. Be careful as the leaf-blades can be sharp. 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 low to high, ranging from 45% to 85%.
|Location||No. of seeds|
|34,100 (125 g)|
34,100 (125 g)
|BGA||41,200 (195.55 g)||30||6-Mar-2007||TST171|
|BGA||4,000 (17.82 g)||17-Jan-2008||Kangaroo Flat NFR|