Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Scleria polycarpa Boeckeler

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Habit and inflorescence. © R.L. Barrett
Inflorescence. © R.L. Barrett
Habit. © R.L. Barrett
Leaves. © R.L. Barrett
Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Boeckeler, J.O. (1874) Linnaea : 509. Type: Insulae Fichi.

Common name



Perennial. Stems scabrid on the angles, up to 120 cm tall.


Leaves clustered in the middle part of the stem, in pseudo whorls of 2-5, scabrid on the margins, 5-10 mm wide, midvein hairy on adaxial side with 2 veins on either side; sheath triangular and slightly hairy; contraligule with tongue-shaped lobe, hirsute.


Inflorescence narrow and dense, 20-50 cm long, consisting of a terminal panicle and up to 7 lateral ones; primary bracts leafy, secondary ones inconspicuous, shorter than the branchlets in their axils. Spikelets 2-3 together, unisexual; male spikelets narrowly lanceolate, ca. 3 mm long; female spikelets evenly distributed along the branches and throughout the panicles, numerous and suborbicular, ca. 4 mm long. Glumes with well-developed green keel, awn short, sides of glume denselly streaked with reddish-brown to purplish brown. Disk large and coriaceous, 3-lobed, shining and bright yellow to reddish, lobes obtuse.


Nut exserted from the glumes, globose, glossy purplish, slightly umbonulate with short hairs, 2-2.5 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 280 m. Grows in marshy places and on stream banks in rainforest, open forest, vine forest and also in woodland. Also occurs in Melanesia, Malesia and New Guinea.

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