Carex appressa R.Br.

Tall Sedge

Prodr. 242 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, triquetrous, occasionally trigonous towards base, scabrous above, 40–170 cm long, 2–4 mm diam., solid. Leaves often prominently septate-nodulose (obvious when dried), shorter than or equalling culms, 2–12 mm wide; sheath grey-brown, leaf sheath front (inner face) not cross-rugulose; ligule rounded to truncate. Inflorescence narrow, erect, 4–45 cm long, compound, with numerous short spikes solitary at nodes or on appressed spike-like secondary branches to 3 cm long; lowest involucral bract very short. Spikes sessile, contiguous, erect to spreading at maturity, to 1 cm long; all spikes with male flowers above female flowers; glumes acute, occasionally shortly mucronate, yellow-brown, occasionally with white margins near apex; female glumes 2–2.5 mm long; utricles 2–3 mm long, 1.0–1.7 mm diam., ovoid, with thickened, corky truncate base, several-nerved, hispid on narrowly winged or ribbed margins, greenish-brown to dark yellow-brown; beak c. 1 mm long, with apex bifid; style 2-fid. Nut ovoid, lenticular, yellow-brown. Flowers spring.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. New Zealand. Recorded as a casual wool alien in United Kingdom. Except for the drier north and north-west, and heavy clays of Volcanic Plains, rather common along watercourses and in wettish depressions almost throughout the State.

Easily confused with Carex incomitata (see notes under C. incomitata). Also similar to C. declinata (native to New South Wales, and Queensland), which also has septate-nodulose leaves, and an elongate spike-like inflorescence. In C. appressa the beak of the utricle is hispid on the margins, and shorter than in C. declinata.  Also somewhat similar to C. densa (see notes under C. densa).

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, 2018-11-20
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 appressa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex appressa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
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
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory