Carex fascicularis Sol. ex Boott

Tassel Sedge

in Hook.f., Fl. Nov.-Zel. 1: 283 (1853) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, trigonous, smooth below, scabrous above, to 100 cm long, 2.5–3.5 mm diam. Leaves septate-nodulose (obvious when dried), mostly equalling culms, 6–13 mm wide; sheath yellow-brown, septate-nodulose; ligule acute. Inflorescence spreading, 6–25 cm long, with 3–6 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bracts exceeding inflorescence. Spikes long-pedunculate, contiguous, drooping at maturity, 2.5–8 cm long, fruiting spikes 8–12 mm diam.; uppermost spike male; lower spikes female or occasionally with a few male flowers at the apex; glumes acute, whitish to pale brown, with scabrous mucro to 4 mm long, margins of upper half fimbriate or lacerate; female glumes 3–6 mm long; utricles 5–7.5 mm long, 1.3–2 mm diam., ovoid to ellipsoid, stipitate, prominently several-nerved, glabrous, dark brown, spreading; beak 2–3 mm long, deeply split; style 3-fid. Nut obovoid, trigonous, yellow-brown. Flowers spring–summer.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. All States except NT. New Guinea, New Zealand. Widespread and rather common on stream and swamp margins (bases sometimes submerged) in cooler, mostly lowland areas almost throughout the State.

A distinctive species often forming dense large tussocks, with septate-nodulose leaves and leaf sheaths (obvious when dried), leaves relatively wide, female spikes are long-pedunculate, broad, with the long utricle beaks giving the spikes a somewhat spiny appearance, drooping at maturity, and usually spaced below male spikes. The female glumes  are long mucronate, and beak of utricle deeply divided into 2 stiff slender teeth. Very similar to Carex maorica (a New Zealand species) in appearance and habitat. C. maorica differs from C. fascicularis by the female spikes mostly sessile rather than pendent, and usually clustered at one level near the base of the male spike rather than mostly distant to ± approximate (but then never clustered at one level round base of male spike). Also similar to C. lurida (North American species, naturalisd in New Zealand), which is a more robust species (up to 2.5 m tall), has shorter female spikes (2–4 cm long), utricles 6–9 × 2-4 mm, and beak ca. half the length of the utricle.

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, 2015-11-20
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 fascicularis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carex fascicularis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina 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
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

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