Machaerina arthrophylla

Fine Twig-sedge

Tufted perennial sedge spreading from a long underground stem. Stiff erect flowering stems are ridged, round in cross section to 2.5mm wide with 1 node.

Additional information

  • SynonymBaumea arthrophylla
  • FamilyCyperaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.3-1.3 m high
  • Plant groupingAquatic & Semi aquatic
  • LeavesBasal leaves round in cross section, to 1.5 mm diam., with some internal partitioning, shorter than stems; stem leaves much smaller; sheath dull, reddish or straw-coloured.
  • Flower colourmid to dark red-brown
  • Flowering timeSeptember to March
  • FlowersErect, oblong flowerhead 8-55 cm long, many 2-4-flowered spikelets scattered along branches. Bract at base of flowerhead shorter than flowerhead. Nut to 2.5 mm, pale, 3-angled, white-hairy at tip.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingFood plant for caterpillars
  • Frog habitatYes
  • Growing conditionsAquatic, in swamps and lakes to 1 m deep. Full sun. Very limited distribution within the Shire.
  • Garden usePlant in dams, pools and permanently wet areas.
  • Commercially availableWholesale only - order in advance
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Known only from the Yarra Flats. Scattered within Victoria.
  • Related speciesConfused with Baumea rubiginosa which has a larger (to 4 mm) red-brown to bright orange, less angular nut, spikelets densely clustered and leaves and bracts flattened near the tips.
Photographer/s: 1 Marilyn Bull ©; 2 Peter Kinchington ©; 3, 4 Helen Moss ©

Plant Communities

  • 35 Floodplain Wetland Complex (EVC 172)
  • 44 Grassy Wetland Complex (EVC 125)
  • 39 Sedge Wetland Complex (EVC 136)
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