Carex divisa Huds.

Divided Sedge

Fl. Angl. 348 (1762) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Rhizome tough, ± long, usually c. 3–4 mm diam.; shoots ± loosely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous, scabrous above, (15–)25–90 cm long, to 1.5 mm diam. Leaves shorter than culms, 1.5–3 mm wide; sheath pale grey-brown, usually persisting as fibrous remains, leaf sheath front (inner face) not cross-rugulose; ligule obtuse to rounded. Inflorescence erect, 1–3 cm long, with 3–10 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract shorter than to exceeding inflorescence. Spikes sessile, contiguous, spreading to erect at maturity, 0.3–1.3 cm long; upper spikes with male flowers above female flowers; lower spikes entirely female or occasionally with male flowers above; glumes acute to acuminate, often shortly mucronate, pale to orange-brown, with narrow to broad, hyaline margins; female glumes 3.5–5 mm long. Utricles 3.5–4 mm long, 1.8–2.4 mm diam., broad-ellipsoid to ovoid, prominently nerved (in Victorian plants) (numerous nerves abaxially, fewer adaxially), slightly hispid on margins and beak, pale to dark brown; beak 0.5–0.8 mm long, with apex bifid or slightly split abaxially; style 2-fid. Nut broad-ellipsoid to ovoid, lenticular, dark yellow-brown. Flowers spring.

*GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also introduced in WA, SA, Tas. Native to Europe. Naturalised in New Zealand. Naturalised along creek flats and lakes and dams in the Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Murchison, Portland, and Talbot districts, Melbourne suburbs (Altona, Mordialloc, Sunbury) and recorded once at Yarra Glen. Often in slightly brackish situations; deliberately introduced in some areas for stabilization of stream banks but soon invasive into pasture, and in indigenous riparian vegetation. It often forms large dense swards at exclusion of other species, and is a serious environmental and agricultural weed.

Similar to Carex disticha, C. divisa, C. hebes and C. raleighii (see notes under those species).

The utricles in the Victorian plants are prominently nerved. However, it appears that outside Victoria this character may be variable. Curtis & Morris (1994) note that the utricles in Tasmanian plants are faintly nerved. In the account of the genus for the Flora of North America North of Mexico, Ball & Reznicek (2002) note that the utricles are faintly to prominently nerved.

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, 2020-02-17

Ball, P.W. & Reznicek, A.A. (2002). , 254-572, in: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds, Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 23: Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae, Oxford University Press, New York.

Curtis, W.M. & Morris, D.I. (1994). The Student's Flora of Tasmania, Part 4B: : Angiospermae: Alismataceae to Burmanniaceae, St. David's Park Publishing, Hobart, Tasmania.

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 divisa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex divisa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present introduced
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
Australian Capital Territory