Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Poales

Cyperaceae - Sedge family

Gibbs Russell, G.E. (1977) Keys to Vascular Aquatic Plants in Rhodesia Kirkia 10(2) 411-502

Gordon-Gray, K.D. (1995) Cyperaceae in Natal Strelitzia 2

Govaerts, R., Koopman, J., Simpson, D., Goetghebeur, P., Wilson, K., Egorova, T. & Bruhl, J. (2010) World Checklist of Cyperaceae The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet: http://www.kew.org/wcsp/ accessed 10 July 2010

Haines, R.W. & Lye, K. (1983) The Sedges and Rushes of East Africa East African Natural History Society, Nairobi, Kenya

Description of the family

Annual or perennial herbs, usually most abundant in wet places. Culms usually triangular, usually solid. Leaves: alternate, usually 3-ranked, simple, grass-like or reduced to sheaths; sheath usually closed; ligule usually 0; lamina usually linear or setaceous. Inflorescence consisting of numerous spikelets, usually arranged in an anthela or panicle, often ± umbellate and subtended by leaf-like bracts. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, arising in the axils of a single bract (glume) without a bracteole, or in tribe Cariceae, the female flowers surrounded by a closed utricle. Glumes usually spirally arranged in 1-many-flowered spikelets. Perianth (only present in the tribes Scirpeae and Rhynchosporeae) consisting of 3-6 (rarely more) hairs, bristles or scales, in other tribes 0. Stamens (1-)2-3; anthers basifixed. Ovary superior, 1-locular with 1 erect ovule. Style simple; stigmas 2 or 3. Fruit a 1-seeded nut, biconvex or trigonous. Seeds free from the pericarp.

Worldwide: 98 genera and 4,350 species, cosmopolitan but especially temperate areas.

Malawi: 24 genera and 140 taxa.

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Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

GenusContent
Alinula J. Raynal
Ascolepis Nees ex Steud.Description
Bolboschoenus (Asch.) Palla
Bulbostylis KunthDescription
Carex L.Description
Cladium P. BrowneDescription
Coleochloa GillyDescription
Costularia C.B. Clarke
Courtoisina SojákDescription
Cyperus L.Description
Eleocharis R. Br.Description
Ficinia Schrad.
Fimbristylis VahlDescription
Fuirena Rottb.Description
Isolepis R. Br.Description
Kyllinga Rottb.Description
Kyllingiella R.W. Haines & LyeDescription
Lipocarpha R.Br.Description
Pycreus P. Beauv.Description
Rhynchospora VahlDescription
Schoenoplectus (Rchb.) PallaDescription
Schoenoxiphium Nees
Scleria BergiusDescription
Tetraria P. Beauv.

Other sources of information about Cyperaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cyperaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Cyperaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Cyperaceae
Flora of Zambia: Cyperaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyperaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cyperaceae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Cyperaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-17

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2017). Flora of Malawi: Family page: Cyperaceae.
http://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=69, retrieved 29 March 2017

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