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Species profile—Cyperus cephalotes


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → CyperaceaeCyperus cephalotes

Photo of Cyperus cephalotes () - Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC)
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Cyperus cephalotes Vahl
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Indicator Species
Pest status
Cyperus cephalotes is an aquatic sedge that forms floating mats. Its long stolons form a tangled mass in the surface vegetation. The stems are solitary, triangular with rounded edges. It grows to 50 cm tall. It has a few leaves up to 1.5 mm wide which are less than half the height of the plant, they are flattened for most of their length, gradually narrowing into the sharply 3-angled tips which are rough to touch. The sheaths at the base of the leaves are cinnamoneous to reddish.
The flowering head is ovoid or conical, 5 to 15 mm wide. It is made up of numerous spikelets that are pale brown to rusty red. Just below the flowering head there are 3 to 5 bracts, the bases of which are purplish striate. The nut has 3 corky wings that form yellowish ridges projecting up the angles of the nut. These enable dispersal by water. (Wilson 2008).
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Cyperus cephalotes has been collected from waterways near Ingham in north-eastern Queensland. It is also found in New Guinea. (Queensland Herbarium 2012).
Distributional limits
-18.4984537, 146.1990277
-18.7388056, 146.5011011
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Cyperus cephalotes grows in aquatic habitats. It has been recorded growing in wetlands with Salvinia sp. (Queensland Herbarium 2012).
Threatening processes
Cyperus cephalotes is potentially threatened by habitat invasion from alien weed species such as Brachiaria mutica (para grass), Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) and other ponded pasture grasses (e.g. Hymenachne).
Contributors: Ron Booth, Mellisa Mayhew 17/06/2009
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008). Cyperus cephalotes in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 19/11/2008.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 19/01/2012.
Wilson, K.L. (2008). Genus Cyperus, in PlantNet: New South Wales Flora Online. National Herbarium of New South Wales. Accessed 19/11/2008.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (29/06/2012)

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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