Gahnia sieberiana Kunth
Kunth, K.S. (1805) Enumeratio Plantarum 2: 332. Type: Sieb. herb. Novo-Holl. n. 536.
Gahnia, Small-seeded; Sword Grass; Small-seeded Gahnia; Sawsedge; Red Fruited Saw Sedge; Saw Sedge
Essentially a herb with an underground rhizome but leaves can attain a height of 2 m or more.
Spikes 2-flowered, bisexual flowers in the upper half and male flowers in the lower half. All male flowers open first and together on the inflorescence then all upper flowers open first as female then later as male so that the plant appears male or female. Flowers with no perianth. Pairs of flowers contained in about 6-10 tight bracts (glumes). Styles or anthers protruding from the glumes.
Fruits shiny reddish brown, about 3 x 1.5 mm and very difficult to crush between the teeth. Embryo small (about 0.5 mm long) shaped like an elongated rugby football.
First pair of leaves about 40-50 x 0.5 mm with minute teeth along the margin at least towards the apex. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade radicle and sheathing, about 38-46 x 0.6-0.7 cm, margin serrate. Lower surface of the leaf blade glabrous, upper surface with short pale hairs. Venation longitudinally parallel. Petiole very short to sessile.
Food plant for the larval stages of several species of Skipper Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).