Isolepis marginata (Thunb.) A.Dietr.

Sp. Pl., edn 6, 1 (2): 110 (1831) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Small tufted annual. Culms filiform, to 10 cm high. Leaf-blades shorter than culms, to 4 cm long. Spikelets 1–6(–12) per inflorescence, 3–7 mm long; involucral bract erect or spreading, longer than spikelets; glumes rather rigid, with stout keel, sides shining with 4–6 conspicuous nerves, straw-coloured, often with red-brown to blackish patches, 1.5–2 mm long; stamens 3; style 3-fid. Nut equally trigonous, obovoid to ellipsoid or broad-ellipsoid, angles subacute, minutely roughened or reticulate, ± shining, straw-coloured to dark brown, c. two-thirds length of glume, 0.8–1.2 mm long, 0.5–0.7 mm diam. Flowers spring.

Brid, MonT, MuF, OtR, SnM, Strz, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *RobP, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Also WA, SA, NSW, Tas. Southern Africa. Very widespread and common on light, often sandy soils in the lowlands (rare on heavier soils of Wimmera, Riverina and Volcanic Plain).

It is not clear whether this species is native or introduced; however, its occurrence in Victoria in often remote and undisturbed areas would suggest it is an indigenous rather than introduced species. DNA studies have shown a closer relationship to Ficinia than to Isolepis. A revision of Ficinia is needed to determine whether this species also belongs to Ficinia rather than Isolepis (Muasya & Simpson 2002).

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, 2017-11-14

Muasya, A.M. & Simpson, D.A. (2002). A monograph of the genus Isolepis R.Br. (Cyperaceae), Kew Bulletin 57: 257-362.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Cyperaceae
genus Isolepis
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

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