Scientific name

Centrolepis Labill.



Similar genera


Native distribution

southeast Asia, Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea and New Zealand

Species cultivated

one to three species cultivated, but not commonly available

Centrolepis banksii (R.Br.) Roem. & Schult.

C. monogyna (Hook.f.) Benth.

C. strigosa (R.Br.) Roem. & Schult.

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

not weedy


small, tufted, grass-like herb; amphibious to aquatic, attached

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stem simple and compact. Roots numerous, hardly branched. Leaves typically basal, glabrous, sometimes purplish; sheath membranous, margin hyaline; ligulate, or not; leaf blade linear to subulate; apex acute; base straight; venation midrib only. Inflorescence a terminal, cymose head; scape terete, glabrous; head ovoid to cylindric; primary bracts 2, enclosing the head, ± opposite, rounded on the back, sheathing, glabrous, or papillate to hispid; secondary bracts 0 or 2 per flower, opposite, obtuse, hyaline. Flowers small, typically bisexual, or some lacking the stamen; perianth absent.

Natural habitat

margin of lakes, small tarns, pools, streams, creeks, claypans, coastal swamps to peat bogs

Additional comments

A genus of about 25 species, many of which are amphibious. Centrolepis muscoides (Hook.f.) Hieron. grows as a perennial in submerged areas through the winter season. C. minima Kirk is aquatic or semi-aquatic, typically partially buried along lake margins. Centrolepis drummondiana is sometimes incorrectly refered to as Trithuria 'blood vomit'.