Description:
A sedge with brown seed heads subtended by 3-4 leaves at the top of a triangular stem with basal leaves and a creeping wiry rhizome with underground oval tubers or “nuts”.
As A Soil Indicator:
Low Calcium, Low Phosphorus, High Potassium,
High Magnesium, Very high Iron, Low humus in the soil, Compacted soils, Little biology
Life cycle:
Perennial grass. Seeds germinate in spring and the plant grows over summer forming rhizomes and tubers and flowers in autumn to winter. Tubers shoot in spring and extend to the surface to produce a basal bulb that produces the leaves. These grow over summer producing more tubers and rhizomes and flower in autumn to winter. Under good conditions plants may flower when they are 3-6 weeks old.
Beneficial:
Grazed to a limited extent by horses and cattle but of little forage value. Fragrant roots used in perfumes. Tubers are edible and were a source of food for aboriginals. Used to bind soil to prevent wind erosion.
Detrimental:
Can act as a host for nematodes and other insects. Not recorded as toxic

What to read next?