Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Scleria levis Retz.

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Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Retzius, A.J. (1786) Observationes Botanicae : 13.


Rhizomatous perennial, stems 30-90 cm tall, sharply triquetrous with bulbous bases covered in reddish brown strongly winged sheaths.


Leaves distributed along the stem, lamina with 2 veins, one on either side of the midvein on the adaxial surface, margins scabrid in the upper half, 3-8 mm wide.Sheaths winged and retrorse scabrid on the margins. Contraligule with a short tongue-shaped lobe covered in long white hairs.


Inflorescence narrow, consisting of a terminal panicle and 1-2 smaller lateral ones, peduncle scabrous. Spikelets unisexual, in clusters of 2-4; male spikelets oblong-lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, female spikelets ovate, 4-6 mm long; glume with a prominent green keel, sides deep rusty red to purplish brown. Disc strongly 3-lobed with pointed apices.


Nut globose to ovoid-globose, glossy white with a persistent disc, testa with very fine short hairs and transverse ridges.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to northern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 620 m. Grows along streams in rainforest, mesophyll vine forest, Eucalyptforest and moist places in woodland and wooded grassland. Also from Indo-China, Malesia and New Guinea.

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