Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Carex horsfieldii Boott

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Herbarium sheet. © Australian Tropical Herbarium
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Boott, F. (1846) Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 20 : 131. Type: in Insulae Java, Dr. Horsfield.


Tufted sedge, usually flowers and fruits when about 1-2 m tall, sometimes when smaller. Rhizome short.


Basal leaves sword-like, 30-100 x 1-1.5 cm, margins sharp and abrasive. Blades plicate. Old leaf sheaths at base reddish-brown.


Inflorescence terminal, produced on a long peduncle which ends in a series of leafy bracts. Inflorescence a panicle of spikes, each spike consisting of female flowers at the base with a cluster of male flowers at the apex. Anthers about 1.5 mm long. Pollen yellow. Style pyramidally thickened at the base.


Nuts with the style persistent at the apex, about 1.5 mm diam. and 2-4 mm long. Endosperm granular and oily. Embryo minute, basal.


First leaves 27-55 x 1 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves sessile, strap-like, margins and the midrib on the lower surface of the leaf blade finely serrate. Venation parallel with 5-7 veins on each side of the midrib. Leaf base clasping the +/- triangular stem. Seed germination time 115 to 418 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from 150-800 m. Grows in disturbed areas in upland and mountain rain forest and mesophyll vine forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

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