Seeds of South Australia
Carex inversa var. inversa (Cyperaceae)
Knob Sedge
List of species for Carex
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Seed collecting:
December to April
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Regionally Extinct   [1 old record, presumed extinct]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)   [needs permanent damp areas; grazed; climate-change sensitive]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [needs permanent damp areas; grazed; climate-change sensitive]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN A2ac)   (Definite Decline)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA ab)   (Definite Decline)
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [needs NPW assessment]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Near Threatened
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. Inversa  from the Latin 'inversus' meaning turned upside down, referring to the male flowers being at the base rather than at the top.
Found on southern Eyre Peninsula, Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east in South Australia growing in damp places. Also found in all States except Northern Territory.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Sedge with slender stems to 20 cm high. Leaves to 3 mm with. Bracts 2, leaf-like, close together, much longer than the inflorescence. Flower-spikes 2-4, sessile in a terminal cluster or one a little lower down, ovoid, to 10 mm long, with a few male flowers at the base, the greater part female; glumes acuminate, greenish or pallid tinged with yellow. Flowering between September and April.
Fruit type:
Green-brown, short clusters of heads each containing numerous individual fruit.
Seed type:
Smooth brown ellipsoid seed to 2 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, covered by a papery layer with a pointed forked tip.
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 90% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA13990 (13.99 g)33-Jan-2007RJB70982
1-Aug-2007100%+5°C, -18°C
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.