Carex pendula Huds.

Giant Sedge

Fl. Angl. 352 (1762) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous, smooth, 60–250(–300) cm long, c. 3–4 mm diam. Leaves shorter than culms, 12–20 mm wide, mid green on upper surface subglaucous on undersurface, rigid, septate-nodulose (more obvious when dry); sheath red-brown; ligule 40–80 mm long. Inflorescence c. 1/3 to 1/2 length of culm, with spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spikes distant, 5–16 cm long, fruiting spikes 3.5–5 mm diam.; uppermost 1 spike male, erect at first becoming pendulous; lower spikes entirely female or angrogynous, short-pedunculate, pendulous; male glumes 6–8 mm long, lanceolate, brownish-hyaline, apex acuminate; female glumes 2–3 mm long, ovate, red-brown with pale midrib, apex acute or acuminate; utricles 3–3.5 mm long, c. 1.5 mm diam., ovoid-ellipsoid, membranous,few-nerved, glabrous, green when immature, light brown at maturity; beak c. 0.3–0.4 mm long, truncate, apex minutely ciliate; style 3-fid. Nut c. 1.8–2 mm long, c. 1.2 mm diam., dark brown. Flowers in late spring to early summer.

*CVU, *VVP. Naturalised in S.A. Native to northern Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia), and Eurasia. Naturalised in New Zealand. Known from two recent collections, at Mt Macedon, and near Blackwood, where sparingly established along a weedy creek, and a weedy roadside. Occasionally cultivated, which is evidently the source of Victorian incursions. It seeds prolifically, and readily self-establishes in gardens. It has the potential to become a serious environmental weed, especially of riparian habitats. Sometimes sold in nurseries, which may further aid the spread of the species in Victoria. Carex pendula has recently been planted as part of a Landcare restoration project at several sites in the southern Otway Range including Carisbrook Creek, where it was mistaken for Carex fascicularis.

Readily recognisable species on account of its robust size, broad septate-nodulose leaves, narrow and usually pendulous spikes. It is the tallest growing, broadest-leaved Carex in Victoria.

Created by: Val Stajsic, 2015-07-03
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-07-24
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 pendula in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex pendula in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia