Carex breviculmis R.Br.

Short-stem Sedge

Prodr. 242 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, terete to trigonous, smooth or scabrous, 3–10 (rarely to 20) cm long, c. 0.7 mm diam. Leaves exceeding culms, to 35 cm long, 2–3 mm wide; sheath yellow-brown; ligule obtuse to truncate. Inflorescence narrow, erect, c. 4 cm long, with 2–5 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract exceeding inflorescence. Spikes sessile, contiguous, erect at maturity, 1.2–1.8 cm long; uppermost spike male; lower spikes female; glumes obtuse to acuminate, often long-mucronate (mucro to 2 mm long), whitish to pale brown with green midrib; female glumes 2.5–4.5 mm long; utricles 2–3.3 mm long, 1.0–1.5 mm diam., ellipsoid, prominently numerous-nerved, pubescent, pale green to yellow-brown; beak c. 0.5 mm long, with apex notched; style 3-fid. Nut obovoid to ellipsoid, trigonous, pale yellow, with enlarged disk-like junction with persistent style-base. Flowers spring–summer.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also Qld, NSW, Tas. Asia, Pacific islands. Widespread and common in (usually drier) grasslands and open woodlands from near sea-level to the alps, but rare on heavier soils of Wannon, Riverina and Volcanic Plain regions, and absent from the far north-west.

The only Carex species in Victoria with utricles that are pubescent all over.

Source: Wilson, K.L. (1994). Cyperaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-07-24
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Cyperaceae
genus Carex
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Carex breviculmis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex breviculmis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory