Seeds of South Australia
Cyperus sanguinolentus (Cyperaceae)
Dark Flat-sedge
List of species for Cyperus
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Seed collecting:
January to June
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [Only 2 plants - may be gone]
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', derived from the Greek 'kypeiros', an ancient Greek name used by Homer and Theophrastus for several plants of this genus. Sanguinolentus from the Latin 'sanguis' meaning blood and 'olentus' meaning abounding in, possible referring to the reddish brown colour of the inflorescence.
Found in the southern Flinders Ranges and southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia  growing in wet areas around swamps and on stream-banks. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Are in South Australia. Uncommon in Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Annual sedge to 40 cm high, sometimes dwarfed to 2-3 cm high. Stems solitary or tufted, ascending to erect, almost setaceous in small plants, coarser in others; triquetrous, striate, smooth. Leaves grass-like, variable, to 3 mm wide; shorter than the stems. Bracts 3 or 4, spreading; at least the lower longer to much longer than the inflorescence. Inflorescence capitate or umbellate; rays few, short to 4 cm long. Spikelets clustered, mostly dark, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, to 14 mm long and 2 mm wide with 8-20-flowers, strongly flattened. Flowering between November and April.
Fruit type:
Flat reddish-brown globular fruit-head.
Seed type:
Dark brown to black ovoid seed to 1.3 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, with small-pitted surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits either by picking off the mature heads, those turning reddish brown and come-off easily. A total of 14,000 seeds were collected and banked for a population at Mount Compass in 2017, with the support of Natural Resources Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges
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 yellowish 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 two collections, the seed viability was average to high, ranging from 70% to 80%
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
9800 (1.73 g)
8500 (1.5 g)
Northern Lofty
1-Aug-200770%+5°C, -18°C
BGA3700 (0.676 g)20-3012-Mar-2010DJD1810
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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1760%2877 30% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min, water rinse, 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 44 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1730%7NA 30% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min, water rinse, 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 44 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
Jun-1726%42NA 30% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min, water rinse, 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 44 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)