Seeds of South Australia
Cyperus exaltatus (Cyperaceae)
Tall Flat-sedge
List of species for Cyperus
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Seed collecting:
November to April
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)   [may recover with flooding]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)   [may recover with flooding]
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened   [in creek lines]
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened   [in creek lines]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened   [in creek lines]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Near Threatened   [in creek lines]
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern   [in creek lines]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Cyperus]
Name derivation:
Cyperus from the Latin 'cyperos' and derived from the Greek 'kypeiros', an ancient Greek name used by Homer and Theophrastus for several plants of this genus. Exaltatus means very tall.
Found in the north, north-east and murray regions of South Australia, growing in shallow water and on banks of streams and lagoons. Also found in Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Stout tufted perennial sedge to I m high. Stems triquetrous, to 3 mm thick at the top. Leaves about as long as the stem, 3-10 mm wide, bracts 3-6, like the leaves, serrulate on the edges, the lower ones much exceeding the inflorescence (to 80 cm long). Flower-spikes an umbel compound, with several spreading rays; spikelets rather densely arranged in oblong or linear spikes at the end of the rays and their branches a rich deep-brown to golden-brown, mostly linear, 20-40-flowered, to 15 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide; rhachilla winged; glumes tightly packed, mucronate, keeled, 3-5-nerved on the back and nerveless on the sides, c. 1.5 mm long; style 3-fid. Flowers in spring and summer.
Fruit type:
Flat, golden fruit-head in dense clusters.
Seed type:
Pale brown ovoid triangular seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits by picking off the mature heads, those turning a golden colour and come-off easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful, as the seeds are very small. Seeds are pale brown, ovoid and hard. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was average, at 65%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA147600 (5.67 g)20+1-Feb-2007RJB71295
Southern Lofty
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.