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Species profile—Carex rafflesiana


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → CyperaceaeCarex rafflesiana

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Carex rafflesiana Boott
WildNet taxon ID
Carex cruciata
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Least concern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Carex rafflesiana is a perennial herb with a short rhizome, the stems are up to 2 m long. The leaves are mostly as long as or shorter than the stems. The inflorescence is reddish brown and up to 70 cm long. The leafy bracts below the inflorescence are as long or longer than the inflorescence. The glumes are ovate or ovate-lanceolate with an acute tip. The glumes are membranous, subtranslucent, glabrous or sparsely hispidulous, with reddish brown streaks on the surface, 1.5 to 3.5 mm long. The nuts are inside a utricle that is distinctly trigonous and not inflated. The utricle is ellipsoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, membranous or subcoriaceous, straight or slightly recurved, with 3 to 7 more or less distinct nerves on the sides, the surface is glabrous or sparsely hispidulous and they are subabruptly beaked, stramineous with reddish brown streaks and spots, 2 to 4 mm long by 0.8 to 1 mm wide; The beak is slender, scabrid on the margins, 1 to 1.5 mm long with oblique but soon bidenticulate mouth. The nut has concave sides, is ellipsoid, and stramineous to brown in colour, 1.5 to 2 mm by 0.75 to 1 mm (Kern, 1979)
Carex rafflesiana is easily distinguished from other Carex species by its reddish, oblong-ovoid inflorescence held erect at the top of the culms (Kern, 1979).
Occurs in Queensland from Eungella National Park in the south to the tip of Cape York. It also occurs throughout Malesia (Kern, 1979). The species is conserved within Iron Range National Park (NP), Cedar Bay NP, Daintree NP, Wooroonooran NP, and Eungella NP (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-12.7568273, 143.2261163
-21.1135672, 148.5190217
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's confirmed records
Occurs on rainforest or vine thicket margins, notophyll vine forest, nanophyll mossy thickets and montane heathlands from near sea-level to 1500 m altitude (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Potential threats include inappropriate fire regimes (Booth pers. comm.).
Status notes
Carex rafflesiana (as Carex cruciata) is listed as 'near threatened' under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Cook, South Kennedy. Also occurs in the following regions: Malesia.
Kern, J.H. and Nooteboom, H.P. (1979) Flora Malesiana 9: 120-121.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 22/02/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (22/02/2012)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
8 March 2022