Gahnia sieberiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Red-fruit saw-sedge
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Gahnia
G. sieberiana
Binomial name
Gahnia sieberiana

Gahnia sieberiana, commonly known as the red-fruit saw-sedge, is a tussock-forming perennial plant in the family Cyperaceae, endemic to Australia. It is a widespread plant that favours damp sunny sites. Many insect larvae have been recorded feeding on the red-fruit saw-sedge. It may grow over 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall.[2]

Gahnia sieberiana was described by German botanist Carl Sigismund Kunth in 1837.[1] It is one of the many species named in honour of the Bohemian collector, Franz Wilhelm Sieber.[2]

Gahnia sieberiana grows as a tall strappy tussock to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) high and wide, with rough flat leaves.[3] The leaf margins have tiny serrations that are sharp and can cut the hands of those handling the plant.[4] The tall black flowers grow in spikes from the centre of the plant and can rise another metre above the clump,[5] appearing in spring and summer. They are followed by shiny red or red-brown round nuts, which measure 2.5 to 4.0 mm (0.1 to 0.2 in) long, 1.5 to 2.0 mm (0.1 to 0.1 in) in diameter.[3]

Gahnia sieberiana is found across eastern Australia, from Tasmania to North Queensland, as well as Malesia, from sea level to an altitude of 1,200 m (3,900 ft).[4] It is found on clay and sandy soils.[6]

Seeds appear to germinate after bushfire.[6] The caterpillars of the dingy grass-skipper (Toxidia peron),[7] montane sedge-skipper (Oreisplanus perornata),[8] silver sedge-skipper (Hesperilla crypsargyra),[9] flame sedge-skipper (Hesperilla idothea), golden-haired sedge-skipper (Hesperilla chrysotricha),[10] heath sand-skipper (Antipodia chaostola),[11] sword-grass brown (Tisiphone abeona)[6] and northern sword-grass brown (Tisiphone helena) feed on the leaves.[12]

For Australian gardens, Gahnia sieberiana has been suggested as a native replacement for pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), which is a noxious weed there.[5] Cultivation is hampered by difficulties in propagation by seed. Clumps can be divided to make more plants.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Gahnia sieberiana Kunth". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 16 Mar 2013.
  2. ^ a b Robinson, Les (2003). Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-7318-1211-0.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Karen L. (2001). "Gahnia sieberiana – New South Wales Flora Online". PlantNET – The Plant Information Network System. 2.0. Sydney, Australia: The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b F.A.Zich; B.P.M.Hyland; T.Whiffen; R.A.Kerrigan (2020). "Gahnia sieberiana". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants (RFK8). Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR), Australian Government. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Walters, Brian (August 2010). "Gahnia sieberiana". Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Benson, Doug; McDougall, Lyn (2002). "Ecology of Sydney Plant Species Part 9: Monocotyledon families Agavaceae to Juncaginaceae" (PDF). Cunninghamia. 7 (4): 695–939 (see p. 822). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-14.
  7. ^ Braby (2004), p. 66.
  8. ^ Braby (2004), p. 68.
  9. ^ Braby (2004), p. 70.
  10. ^ Braby (2004), p. 74.
  11. ^ Braby (2004), p. 80.
  12. ^ Braby (2004), p. 158.

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