Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Scleria terrestris (L.) Fassett

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Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Fassett, N.C. (1924) Rhodora 26(308): 159.


Perennial with strongly triquetrous stems, up to 12 mm diam. In the lower part.


Leaves 5-20 mm wide, margins scabrous, midrib covered in hairs on the adaxial surface; sheaths widened upwards, scabrid, 3-winged; contraligule with short lobe covered in dense hairs.


Inflorescence with peduncles single at the nodes, scabrid; primary bracts overtopping the inflorescence, inflorescence branches triquetrous; Spikelets unisexual, with male spikelets lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, 1-2 mm long, female spikelets broadly ovate, 3.5-4.5 mm long; glumes rusty to purplish brown with a green keel; disk shortly 3-lobed,ferrruginous or yellow streaked purple.


Nut ovoid to subglobose, umbonulate, with hairs arranged like glochidia, purplish to blackish when mature, 2.5-3 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 450 m. Grows in marshy and moist places in rainforest, vine forest, Eucalypt forest, Melaleuca and Pandanus swamps and in swampy areas in various types of woodland. Also known from India to China, Japan and throughout Malesia and New Guinea.

Zizania terrestris L., Species Plantarum 2: 991(1753), Type: Rheede, Hort. Malab., 12: 113, t. 60 (1693).
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