Carex raleighii Nelmes

Raleigh Sedge

Bull. Misc. Inform. 1939: 310 (1939) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Rhizome long; shoots loosely tufted. Culms slender, weak, terete to trigonous, smooth, 25–40 cm long, 0.3–0.7 mm diam. Leaves shorter than to equalling culms, c. 1 mm wide; sheath pale brown; ligule rounded. Inflorescence erect, 0.5–1 cm long, with 1–4 spikes solitary at nodes; lowest involucral bract exceeding inflorescence. Spikes sessile, contiguous, spreading to erect at maturity, to c. 1 cm long; all spikes with female flowers above male flowers; glumes acute, orange-brown with broad white to hyaline margins near apex; female glumes 3.5–4 mm long; utricles 2.5–3.0 mm long, 1.0–1.4 mm diam., ovoid to ellipsoid, weakly several-nerved, slightly hispid on narrowly winged shoulders and beak, green to pale brown; beak 0.7–1 mm long, with apex split; style 2-fid. Nut ellipsoid to obovoid, lenticular, yellow-brown. Flowers summer.

HNF, HSF, MonT, SnM, VAlp. Also Tas. Rare, occurring on swampy flats on the higher ranges (e.g. Mt Hotham area, Snowy Range, Nunniong Plateau, Cobberas) with an occurrence at lower altitude on the upper Delegate River at Bidwell.

Very close to Carex hebes, from which it can be quite difficult to distinguish, but differing in having taller but more slender culms, with the inflorescence longer than broad and usually with fewer spikes, and the utricles smaller with a longer, narrower beak. Wilson (1996) notes that all spikes are androgynous (i.e. with male flowers above female flowers in the same spike), but Wilson (2018) comments that this was an error. Wilson (2018) also notes that there is a difference in the size of the nuts in the two species, as well as the width of the utricle neck, but no measurements are given. Also similar to C. divisa from which it differs in having the upper spikes with female flowers above male flowers. Further work is required to determine whether these are two distinct species or one varying according to habitat (Wilson 2018).

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, 2018-06-20

Wilson, K.L. (1996). A new Australian species of Carex (Cyperaceae) and notes on two other species, Telopea 6(4): 569-577.

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

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales