Scientific Name:
Lepidosperma australe (A.Rich.) Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 279 (1853)
  • Vauthiera australis A.Rich., Essai Fl. Nouv.-Zél., 107, t. 20 (1832)
  • Cladium australe (A.Rich.) Druce, Bot. Soc. Exch. Club Brit. Isles 4 Suppl.: 615 (1917)
  • Machaerina australis (A.Rich.) T.Koyama, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 69: 62 (1956)
  • = Cladium vauthiera C.B.Clarke ex Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 788 (1906)
Vernacular Name(s):
Square sedge; Square-stemmed sedge

Rhizome 2–3 mm. diam., short and woody, bearing distant, membr., apiculate, dark brown scales. Culms 20–60–(150) cm. × 1–2.5 mm., densely packed, rigid, erect, quadrangular, glab., blue- or grey-green. Lvs all reduced to brown, sheathing, membr., mucronate bracts, or the upper 1–2 with laminae quadrangular like the culm or occ. trigonous, 5–25–(35) cm. long, with a subulate, pungent, dark brown tip. Infl. 1–3–(4) cm. × 5–7–(15) mm., a dense, contracted, spike-like head; subtending bract us. < infl. with a rigid, subulate awn up to 1.5 cm. long. Spikelets 1-fld, 4–5 mm. long, on short, stout, stiff stalks. Glumes 4–6, the lowest broadly ovate, mucronate, the upper ones ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, coriac., papillose with scabrid midrib and margins, midrib thickened; only the uppermost glume fertile, the rest empty. Hypog. scales 6, c. 0.5 mm. long, white and triangular when mature, connate at the base to form a 6-lobed persistent cup. Anthers with an elongated red connective. Nut c. 4 mm. long, ± trigonous, oblong-ellipsoid, smooth, shining, light brown, narrowed above to the persistent, scabrid style-base.

[From: Moore and Edgar (1970) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 2.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
Barrett, R.L.; Wilson, K.L. 2012: A review of the genus Lepidosperma Labill. (Cyperaceae: Schoeneae). Australian Systematic Botany 25: 225–294.
Cheeseman, T.F. 1906: Manual of the New Zealand Flora. Government Printer, Wellington.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Druce, G. C. 1917 ("1916"): Nomenclatural Notes: Chiefly African and Australian. Report / Botanical Society and Exchange Club of the British Isles for 1916, 4 Suppl.: 601–653.
Hooker, J.D. 1853: The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Koyama, T. 1956: Taxonomic Study of Cyperaceae V. Botanical Magazine (Tokyo) 69: 59–67.
Richard, A. 1832: Essai d'une Flore de la Nouvelle Zélande. In: Dumont d'Urville, J. Voyage de découvertes de l'Astrolabe. Botanique. Tastu, Paris.