Common Names in English:
, cespitose or not, rhizomatous
or not, stoloniferous
or not. Roots
, principally adventitious. Stems (culms
) usually trigonous
, occasionally terete
, rarely compressed
, usually solid, rarely hollow or septate
. Leaves basal and/or cauline, alternate, usually 3-ranked, rarely 2-ranked or multi-ranked, bases
enclosing stem, margins
usually fused; junction of sheaths and blades
often with adaxial
flaps of tissue
of hair (ligules) ; blades frequently absent from some basal leaves
, rarely from cauline leaves, when present divergent or ascending
, flat, folded, plicate
, rolled, or terete, linear
) a shortened axis; glumaceous
) 1-many, spirally arranged
, sometimes 2-ranked, usually appressed
or ascending; scales usually all fertile
, each subtending
a single flower, sometimes proximal
and/or distal scales empty; lateral
spikes often with basal, usually empty, usually 2-keeled scale (prophyll) ; occasionally prophyll subtending and enclosing rachilla, bearing 1 pistillate
, sometimes (0-) 3 staminate flowers
and empty scales (Carex, Cymophyllus, and Kobresia) . Secondary inflorescences panicles, often modified to corymb, pseudoumbel, cyme (anthela), raceme
, spike, or capitulum (head
), rarely single spike, usually subtended by foliaceous
or, less frequently, glumaceous bracts; secondary inflorescences sometimes simulating spikelets (Carex, Cymophyllus, and Kobresia) . Flowers hypogynous, bisexual
in most genera, unisexual
in Scleria, Carex, Cymophyllus, and Kobresia; perianth absent or with (1-) 3-6(-30) bristles
and/or scales, usually falling off with fruit; stamens usually (1-) 3, rarely more, usually distinct
; pistils 1, 2-3(-4) -carpellate, fused, locule 1; style undivided or branches 2-3(-4) ; stigma sometimes papillate
. Fruits achenes, usually trigonous or biconvex
; pericarps thin (except in Scleria) . Seeds 1; testa thin, free
from pericarp; embryo basal; endosperm abundant. x
= 5-ca. 100.
Genera ca. 100, species ca. 5000 (27 genera, 843 species in the flora ) : worldwide.
No consensus exists regarding the number of genera and the overall relationships of genera within Cyperaceae. The most recent account of the family (P. Goetghebeur 1998) recognized 104 genera distributed among 4 subfamilies and 14 tribes . That arrangement differs somewhat from that of J. Bruhl (1995) . With one minor exception the arrangement of the family here follows that of Goetghebeur.
The family is characterized by the occurrence of a number of unusual cytological features including: (1) chromosomes with diffuse centromeres , (2) post-reductional meiosis, and (3) pollen grains formed from tetrads in which 3 of the 4 microspores fail to develop. The first two features are found in at least some Juncaceae and are unique to the two families. Juncaceae also have pollen in tetrads, but in that family all four microspores produce pollen grains. Some species in some genera of Cyperaceae (particularly Eleocharis) possess chromosomes with localized centromeres (S. S. Bir et al. 1993) . The wide range of chromosome numbers found in Cyperaceae is largely because of agmatoploidy; polyploidy has been hypothesized for some genera, especially Eleocharis, although polyploidy has not been demonstrated unequivocally.
Because of morphologic similarities in vegetative and inflorescence characters, the family has commonly been associated with Poaceae. Cytological features discussed above clearly indicate that to be a superficial similarity . Data from rbcL studies also support the view that Cyperaceae and Poaceae are not closely related (M. R. Duvall et al. 1993b; G. M. Plunkett et al. 1995) ; they do support the concept of close relationship between Cyperaceae and Juncaceae.
For most families of flowering plants the phenological data given are flowering times. Because most Cyperaceae cannot be reliably identified when in flower, in this volume fruiting time is given for all species by season , sometimes qualified by early, mid, or late, or by months. The fruiting time has been interpreted broadly to include the period when the fruit is more or less fully formed but not yet ripe . The fruiting period provided covers the entire range of the taxon . Quite a difference between fruiting periods in different parts of the range of the species may well occur, especially for widespread species and species with extensive elevation range.
For a recent, comprehensive review of the economic importance of Cyperaceae, see D. A. Simpson and C. A. Inglis (2001) .
or less often annual
, cespitose or not, rhizomatous
, rarely tuberous
solitary or not, trigonous
) prickles. Leaves usually basal; ligules absent; blades
abaxially, flat, V-, or inversely W-shaped in cross
. Inflorescences terminal
, rarely pseudolateral, 1st order
subumbellate to capitate, 2d order with spicate
or digitately arranged spikelets
, rarely a solitary spikelet; spikelets 1-150; 1st order rays unequal (rarely equal) in length
singly from the axils of inflorescence bracts
; involucral bracts
1-22, spirally arranged
at culm apex, spreading
, leaflike. Spikelets: scales
to 76, distichous, each subtending
, borne spicately or digitately at ends of rays (occasionally proliferous) . Flowers bisexual
], in axils of distichous floral scales, bases
often decurrent onto rachilla as ± hyaline
; perianth absent; stamens 1-3; styles linear
, 2-3-fid, base deciduous or persistent
; stigmas 2-3. Achenes biconvex
, flattened, or trigonous.
Species ca. 600: pantemperate and tropical .
Flowers: Bloom Period: June. • Flower Color: bronze, brown, green
Size: 4-6' tall.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,625 meters (0 to 5,331 feet).
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Small, 1903
- Family: Cyperaceae () - A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - Sedge Family
- Order: Poales () - Small, 1903
- Superorder: Juncanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Commelinidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 21-Jun-2005
Members of the genus Cyperus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 172 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:
C. acuminatus (Short-Point Flatsedge) · C. aggregatus (Inflated Scale Flatsedge) · C. albostriatus (Dwarf Umbrella Grass) · C. alopecuroides (Foxtail Flatsedge) · C. alternifolia (Umbrella Plant) · C. alternifolius var. Gracilis (Dwarf Umbrella Plant) · C. amabilis (Foothill Flatsedge) · C. amuricus (Asian Flatsedge) · C. aromaticus (Navua Sedge) · C. articulatus (Jointed Flatsedge) · C. auriculatus (Eared Flatsedge) · C. bipartitus (Brook Flatsedge) · C. calcicola (Caribbean Flatsedge) · C. cephalanthus (Buttonbush Flatsedge) · C. compressus (Poorland Flat Sedge) · C. confertus (West Indian Flatsedge) · C. congestus (Clustered Flatsedge) · C. croceus (Baldwin's Cyperus) · C. cuspidatus (Coastal Plain Flatsedge) · C. cyperinus (Old World Flatsedge) · C. cyperoides pseudoflavus (Pacific Island Flatsedge) · C. deamii (Deam's Flatsedge) · C. dentatus (Toothed Flatsedge) · C. dentoniae (Hairy Flatsedge) · C. diandrus (Umbrella Flat Sedge) · C. difformis (Smallflower Umbrella Sedge) · C. diffusus (Dwarf Umbrella Grass) · C. digitatus (Finger Flatsegde) · C. dioicus (Flatsedge) · C. dipsaceus (Wright Flatsedge) · C. distans (Piedmont Flatsedge) · C. distinctus (Marshland Flatsedge) · C. echinatus (Globe Flatsedge) · C. elegans (Royal Flatsedge) · C. entrerianus (Deeprooted Sedge) · C. eragrostis (Drain Flat-Sedge) · C. erythrorhizos (Red-Root Flat Sedge) · C. esculentus (Yellow Nutsedge) · C. esculentus L. var. esculentus (Chufa Flatsedge) · C. esculentus var. esculentus (Chufa Flatsedge) · C. esculentus var. hermannii (Yellow Nutsedge) · C. esculentus var. leptostachyus (Yellow Nutsedge) · C. esculentus var. macrostachyus (Yellow Nutsedge) · C. esculentus var. sativus (Chufa) · C. exaltatus (Tall Flat-Sedge) · C. fauriei (Alpine Flatsedge) · C. fendlerianus (Fendler Flatsedge) · C. filicinus (Fern Flatsedge) · C. filiformis (Wiry Flatsedge) · C. flavescens (Pale Flatsedge) · C. flavicomus (White-Edge Flatsedge) · C. flexuosus (Vahl's Flatsedge) · C. floribundus (Rio Grande Sedge) · C. floridanus (Florida Flatsedge) · C. fugax (Withering Flatsedge) · C. fuligineus (Limestone Flatsedge) · C. fuscus (Brown Flatsedge) · C. giganteus (Giant Flatsedge) · C. glaber (Galingale) · C. gracilis (Slimjim Flatsedge) · C. granitophilus (Granite Flatsedge) · C. grayi (Gray's Flatsedge) · C. grayoides (Illinois Flatsedge) · C. haspan (Haspan Flatsedge) · C. hermaphroditus (Hermaphrodite Flatsedge) · C. hillebrandii (Hillebrand's Flatsedge) · C. hillebrandii var. decipiens (Hillebrand's Flatsedge) · C. hillebrandii var. hillebrandii (Hillebrand's Flatsedge) · C. houghtonii (Houghton's Flatsedge) · C. hyalinus (Queensland Sedge) · C. hypochlorus (Oahu Flatsedge) · C. hypochlorus var. brevior (Oahu Flatsedge) · C. hypochlorus var. hypochlorus (Oahu Flatsedge) · C. hypochlorus var. kauaiensis (Oahu Flatsedge) · C. hypopitys (Pinewoods Sedge) · C. hystricinus (Bristly Flatsedge) · C. imbricatus (Shingle Flatsegde) · C. involucratus (Galingale) · C. iria (Iria Flatsedge) · C. isocladus (Dwarf Papyrus) · C. javanicus (Javanese Flatsedge) · C. kunthianus (Maui Flatsedge) · C. kyllinga (Spikesedge) · C. laevigatus (Smooth Flatsedge) · C. lancastriensis (Many-Flowered Umbrella-Sedge) · C. lanceolatus (Epiphytic Flatsedge) · C. lecontei (Le Conte's Flatsedge) · C. lentiginosus (Latin American Flatsedge) · C. ligularis (Alabama Swamp Flatsedge) · C. longus (Sweet Cyperus) · C. louisianensis (Louisiana Flatsedge) · C. lucidus (Leafy Flat-Sedge) · C. lupulinus lupulinus (Great Plains Flatsedge) · C. lupulinus subsp. macilentus (Great Plains Flatsedge) · C. manimae (Smoothstem Flatsedge) · C. manimae var. asperrimus (Spectacular Flatsedte) · C. meyenianus (Meyen's Flatsedge) · C. mutisii (Mutis Flatsedge) · C. nanus (Indian Flatsedge) · C. nanus var. nanus (Indian Flatsedge)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 22, 2007:
- Australian National Herbarium
- , Australian National Herbarium
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, NSW herbarium collection
- Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility, Magnoliophyta
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 8504787
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-236548
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13746017
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:304447-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 977136
- Peter W. Ball, A. A. Reznicek, David F. Murray "Cyperaceae". in Flora of North America Vol. 23 Page 3, 4, 192, 243, 252. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Gordon C. Tucker, Brian G. Marcks & J. Richard Carter "Cyperus". in Flora of North America Vol. 23 Page 7, 141, 154, 162, 163, 164, 168, 170, 184,. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 217.680 meters (714.173 feet), Standard Deviation = 287.570 based on 123 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]