442B-3-Lepidosperma-laterale-fl-Peter-Kinchington.jpg

Lepidosperma laterale

Variable Sword-sedge

Variable small to tall clumping perennial sedge, spreading by very short underground stems. Flowering stems rigid, flat or slightly convex on one side with very sharp margins, 3-10cm x 2-8mm.

Additional information

  • SynonymLepidosperma laterale var. majus
  • FamilyCyperaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.4-1.5 m x 0.5-2 m
  • Plant groupingGrasses, Rushes & Sedges
  • LeavesLeaves similar but shorter than flowering stems (culms), sometimes twisted, 3-8 mm wide. Sheaths reddish or dark greyish brown at base, lighter at tip.
  • Flower colourRed-brown to grey-brown
  • Flowering timeSeptember to March
  • FlowersFew spikelets in a narrow, erect to slightly spreading spray 4-35 cm long. Leafy bract below flowers shorter than flowerhead. Nut pale brown, wrinkled or smooth, shiny.
  • Bird attractingSeeds
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatYes
  • Growing conditionsMoist to dry sandy to rocky soil in woodland and riparian forests. Semi shade to dappled shade.
  • Garden useVery adaptable feature plant which will also tolerate sun. Care needs to be taken with placement due to the sharp edges.
  • Commercially availableIndigenous nursery
  • Conservation statusWidespread within the Shire
  • Aboriginal Use Lower leaves - fibre for basket making, red bases used for contrast.
  • Related speciesSimilar to Lepidosperma elatius which has longer leaves and culms and a larger, drooping flowerhead.
Photographer/s: 1, 3, 5 Peter Kinchington ©; 2, 4 Marilyn Bull ©

Plant Communities

  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 29 Green Scentbark Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 11 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Central Highlands (EVC 18)
  • 30 Swamp Gum Swampy Riparian Woodland (EVC 83)
  • 15 Scented Paperbark Riparian Thicket - Middle & Upper Yarra (EVC 59)
  • 32 Silvertop Ash Shrubby Foothill Forest (EVC 45)
  • 16 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest Central Highlands/UpperYarra (EVC 45)
  • 33 Mountain Swamp Gum Swampy Riparian Woodland (EVC 83)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 34 Manna Gum Floodplain Riparian Woodland (EVC 56)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 36 Scented Paperbark Riparian Thicket – Central Highlands (EVC 59)
  • 19 Long-leaf Box Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 37 Yarra Gum Grassy Woodland (EVC 175)
  • 20 Messmate Lowland Forest (EVC 16)
  • 38 Yellow Box Valley Grassy Forest – Middle Yarra (EVC 47)
  • 21 Broad-leaf Peppermint Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 40 Snow Gum Grassy Woodland (EVC 175/37)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
  • 41 Swamp Paperbark Riparian Thicket (EVC 59)
  • 25 Long-leaf Box Grassy Dry Forest - Southern Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 42 Yellow Box Valley Grassy Forest - Christmas Hills (EVC 47)
  • 26 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Middle Yarra (EVC 22)
  • 45 Lemon Bottlebrush Rocky Outcrop Shrubland (EVC 28)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 46 Silvertop Ash Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 28 Red Box Grassy Dry Forest - Christmas Hills (EVC 22)
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