Plants of
South Australia
Isolepis stellata
Cyperaceae
Star Club-sedge
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Isolepis, from the Greek 'isos', meaning equal and 'lepis' meaning scale, referring to the glumes. Stellata, from the Latin 'stellatus', meaning with spreading rays, stellate or star-like, referring to the star-like shaped of the fruit-heads.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia growing in seasonally wet area and seepage. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales and Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Slender tufted annual sedge to 6 cm high, stems rather rigid but very slender. Leaf blades setaceous, to 2.5 cm long or reduced to short points. Bract 1, erect or more or less thrown to one side, usually exceeding the inflorescence and to 7 mm long. Spikelets up to 8 in the cluster, rarely less than 3; densely packed and stellately spreading; oblong or ovoid-oblong, very obtuse, to 4 mm long, greenish, several-flowered; glumes rather spreading, the tip mucronate and also spreading; keel stout and broad; green sides stained with red-brown, each with 1 or 2 slender nerves. Flowering between October and February. Isolepis stellata can be recognised easily by the stout, recurved mucro at the glume apex. Fruits are brown fruit-head in clusters at the end of the stems. Seeds are dark-brown to black, ovoid-triangular seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.6 mm wide with a small tuberculate surface. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and March. Collect fruits either 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 black 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 three collections the seed viability was high, ranging from 85% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA10,800 (0.45 g)504-Nov-2007RJB75497
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
20,000 (0.77 g)
20,000 (0.77 g)
2001-Oct-2007RJB75129
South Eastern
19-Sep-200885%-18°C
BGA129,000 (5.18 g)503-Dec-2007RJB76069
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%-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.