(Restionaceae) are not particularly diverse in Tasmania, with only
14 native species in 11 genera, they are a conspicuous and ecologically
important group. They are one of the dominant families (along with
Cyperaceae) in sedgeland vegetation.
The obvious characteristic of
the family is that the leaves are reduced to scales that sheath the
stem. Most species have many of these scales, and the plants are
wiry. The flowers are reduced and in inflorescences (as in the
related families Cyperaceae,
Poaceae, Centrolepidaceae and Juncaceae). Unlike Poaceae,
Centrolepidaceae and Cyperaceae, and like Juncaceae, the flowers
have petals and sepals (although these are small and dry).
couple of species of Cyperaceae can be confusied with Restionaceae.
These include Caustis
pentandra which also has wiry stems with
multiple scale leaves, and Baumea
juncea which has erect slender stems with scale-leaves.