Carex gaudichaudiana Kunth

Fen Sedge

Enum. PI. 2: 417 (1837) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome long; shoots ± loosely tufted. Culms erect, triquetrous, scabrous, 10–90 cm long, c. 1 mm diam. Leaves exceeding culms, 2–4 mm wide, dark green, margins antrorsely scabrous; sheath pale yellow-brown to orange-brown; ligule acute. Inflorescence erect, 7–18 cm long, with 3–8 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract shorter than inflorescence. Spikes sessile to subsessile, distant, erect to spreading at maturity; upper 1 or 2 spikes male, 2.5–6.5 cm long; lower spikes female or often male at apex or base, 1.5–6.5 cm long; glumes often shortly mucronate, very dark red-brown with paler midrib, or rarely male glumes mostly stramineous; male glumes subacute to acute, occasionally obtuse; female glumes obtuse to acute, 2.8-.5 mm long; utricles 2.7–4.5 mm long, 1.5–2.0 mm diam., ovoid to ellipsoid, numerous-nerved, minutely papillose at least near apex, pale green to brown, often red-dotted; beak c. 0.3 mm long, with apex notched to truncate and occasionally minutely hispid; style 2-fid, or occasionally 3-fid in a few flowers within an inflorescence. Nut globose to obovoid, lenticular, dark yellow-brown. Flowers spring–summer.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuF, NIS, OtP, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, Wim. Also Qld, NSW, Tas. New Guinea, New Zealand, Asia. Widespread, mostly in cooler areas, occasional in the north (e.g. Warby Ranges, Barmah), almost ubiquitous in alpine swamps, fens and slow-flowing streams.

The uppermost male spikes are characteristically much longer than the lower spikes.

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, 2017-02-28
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 gaudichaudiana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex gaudichaudiana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain 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
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory