T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lepidosperma laterale (Sword sedge) Native

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Lepidosperma
Species: L. laterale
Binomial name: Lepidosperma laterale
Synonyms: Lepidosperma laterale var. angustum, Lepidosperma angustifolium
Common names: Sword sedge, Variable sword sedge

Lepidosperma laterale is a coarsely tufted perennial sedge found in south-eastern Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand where it is confined to the North Island. It is common from Te Paki south to about the King Country and the Bay of Plenty. It is found in a variety of situations, sand dunes and wetlands, infertile gumlands and rocky soil in riparian forests. Usually in semi-shade to dappled shade from the coast to lowland areas.

A sedge of infertile gumland, sand dunes and wetlands.Lepidosperma laterale grow to one metre tall. The stiff, green, strap-like leaves are glossy and are up to 3 to 5 mm wide. They have sharp, minutely scabrid margins. The leaf base is usually orange-reddish in colour.
The flowering stems (3-10cm x 2-8mm) appear during spring and summer and are rigid, flat or slightly convex on one side with very sharp margins. The red-brown to grey-brown flowers are in clusters at the top of the stems. Flowering occurs September to March. The seeds which are ovoid, scaly, brown nuts (>3.5 x >2.0 mm) are usually present all year round and are dispersed by water and wind.







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