Juncus from the Latin 'jungere' meaning to tie or bind; referring to the use of the rushes for weaving and basketry. Sarophorus from the Greek 'saron' meaning broom and the suffix '-phoros' meaning to bear; referring to its dense broom-shaped inflorescence.
Distribution and status
Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in damp and swampy areas that are inundated or saturated for a considerable period. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Green Adelaide
NRM region: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Strongly rhizomatous perennial sedge to 120 cm high with terete culms to 4 mm diameter, hard, blue-green, with an interrupted pith; stem striations 25-50. Inflorescence a rather dense broom-shaped lateral panicle to 15 cm long with straw-brown flowers in loosely clustered to solitary. Flowering between December to March. Fruits are clusters of golden brown ellipsoid capsules with numerous seeds. Seeds are tiny orange ellipsoid seed to 0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with fine reticulated surface. Seed embryo type is broad.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and May. Collect fruits either by picking off the mature heads, those turning brown and come-off easily or break-off the whole spikes. 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 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.