Mullumbimby Couch

Cyperus brevifolius (Rottb.) Hassk.

Synonyms - Kyllinga brevifolia, Kyllinga intermedia.

Family: Cyperaceae.

Names:

Cyperus is from the Greek kypeiros or the Latin cuperos both meaning sedge or rush.
Mullumbimby Couch.

Other names:

Globe Kyllinga
Kyllinga
Kyllinga weed

Summary:

A rhizomatous, grass-like plant with shiny leaves, triangular stems and globular seed heads.

Description:

Cotyledons:

One

Leaves:

Shorter or longer than stems
Blade - Shiny, limp, weak, 1.5-3 mm wide, keeled.

Stems:

Scattered along the rhizome or tufted. Erect or obliquely ascending. 50-400 mm long x 0.5-1 mm wide. Triangular cross section. Ribbed. Long, creeping, branched under ground rhizomes.

Flower head:

Condensed spike, almost globular, flat topped cluster, with up to 100 tiny flowers on the end of stems. 2-4 long leaf like bracts, under and longer than the flower head. Bracts erect or spreading and sometimes longer than the stems.

Flowers:

Spikelets - green or yellowish, 2-3 mm long x 1 mm wide. Flat. Single flowered.
Florets - Style with 2 branches.
Glumes - Two, pale green to yellowish brown, sharp pointed, overlapping, 2-3 mm long, very thin. Keel may be smooth or with teeth and a bent back tip. Upper glume has 3-4 veins, lower glume has 2.
Stamens - one.
Anthers - 1 mm long.

Fruit:

Nut.

Seeds:

1-1.5 mm, lens shaped, flattened.

Roots:

Rhizome. Long and branched.

Key Characters:

Spikelets 1 flowered, glumes overlapping pale green to yellowish and very thin. 2 style branches. Nut lens shaped.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. Flowers November - April.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed and rhizomes.

Flowering times:

November to April in Perth.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Rhizomes.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed and rhizomes.

Origin and History:

America, Africa, Asia and Queensland.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, WA.
From Perth to north of Broome in WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Sand.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Weed of lawns, gardens, pastures and disturbed wetlands.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

There are 38 Cyperus species recognised as economic plants by CSIRO the most common are:
Boredrain Sedge (C. laevigatus)
Clubrush (C. hamulosus)
Dirty Dora (C. difformis)
Dense Flatsedge (C. congestus)
Downs Nutgrass (C. bifax)
Dwarf Sedge (C. pygmaeus)
Dwarf White Kyllingia (C. kyllingia)
Flat Sedge (C. sanguinolentus)
Giant Sedge (C. exaltatus)
Kyllinga weed (C. sesquiflorus, C. sphaeroideus)
Mullumbimby Couch (C. brevifolius)
Nalgoo (C. bulbosus)
Navua sedge (C. aromaticus)
Nutgrass (C. rotundus)
Rice Flatsedge (C. iria)
Scaly Sedge (C. tenuiflorus)
Slender Sedge (C. gracilis)
Sticky Sedge (C. fulvus)
Stiff-leaved Sedge (C. vaginatus)
Spiny Flatsedge (C. gymnocaulos)
Tiny Flatsedge (C. tenellus)
Umbrella grass (C. eragrostis)
Yelka (C. victoriensis)
Yellow Nutgrass (C. esculentus)

Plants of similar appearance:

Kyllinga weed (C. sesquiflorus) has a very short or no rhizome. The spikes are whitish or pale green and it often has 2 small spikes at the base of a larger one.
Kyllinga weed (C. sphaeroideus) has a yellowish seed head, usually less than 50 flowers and is an annual.
Nutgrass (C. rotundus) has underground tubers or 'nuts'.
Downs Nutgrass (C. bifax) has small tubers.
Yellow Nutgrass (C. esculentus) is similar until flowering when it produces a yellow green flower head.

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P23

Black, J.M. (1978). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P260.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). p77-78.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #404.4.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P878.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.