Seeds of South Australia
Carex fascicularis (Cyperaceae)
Tassel Sedge
List of species for Carex
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Seed collecting:
December to April
Herbarium regions:
Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [grows in shallow water; blue gums & water quality decline via herbicides - threats]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [needs near-permanent water; could be declining]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [needs near-permanent water; weeds a threat]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [<10 plants]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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 Carex]
Name derivation:
Carex is the classical Latin name for sedge, perhaps from 'carere' meaning to be absent, as the upper spikes are staminate (male) and do not produce seeds. May have been used by Virgil for plants in this genus and derives from ancient Greek 'keiro' meaning to cut, referring to the sharp edge of leaf margins. Fascicularis means clustered or grouped together in bundles, referring to the structure of the inflorescence.
Found mainly in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the lower South-east in South Australia growing in wet places. Also found in all other States.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Northern Territory. Uncommon in Western Australia and Queensland. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Perennial sedge with stems to over 50 cm high, acutely triquetrous, scabrous on the margins. Leaves nearly as long, to 8 mm broad. Bracts leafy, much exceeding the inflorescence, with scarcely any or no sheaths. Flower-spikes 3-6, pedunculate, drooping, all close together at the top of the stem, cylindrical, 3-6 cm long, the terminal one male, the others female; glumes with scabrid awns, utricles divergent or reflexed, obtusely trigonous, prominently nerved, ovoid-ellipsoid on rather long stipes and with a long narrow-spreading deeply 2-fid beak with spreading teeth, in all 4-5 mm long; style branches 3. 
Fruit type:
Pale brown, clusters of drooping heads, each containing numerous individual fruit.
Seed type:
Brown ellipsoid seed to 3 mm long and 2 mm wide, covered by a striated papery layer with a long forked tail.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits either by running your hands along the heads; mature seeds will come-off easily or cut whole heads that are brown, containing dark hard seeds.
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. 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 three collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 85% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA18820 (28.795 g)50+28-Apr-2004DJD 4
Southern Lofty
1-Sep-2004100%+5°C, -18°C
17800 (24.65 g)
17800 (24.65 g)
South Eastern
BGA54000 (70.23 g)1-Jan-2007RJB71063
Southern Lofty
4350 (5.41 g)
4350 (5.41 g)
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
Jul-0471%15 d40 d 20% hydrogen peroxide 10 min, water rinse;
filter paper over moist sponge;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-1560%14 d14 d leached in water 7 d;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-1560%14 d14 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-1558%14 d14 d 250 mg/L gibberellic acid + 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn 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)