Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Poales

Cyperaceae - Sedge family

Browning, J. & Goetghebeur, P. (2017) Sedge (Cyperaceae) Genera of Africa and Madagascar Troubador (Matador), Leicester, UK

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

Mesterházy, A., Browning, J. & Verloove, F. (2022) Cyperaceae of tropical West Africa Meise Botanic Garden

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.

Comment: In some of the higher-rainfall parts of the country, Cyperaceae are abundant and these areas are often rich in species. In collecting material for determination, it should be noted that the basal and underground parts are often necessary for identification and that immature or flowering material is often difficult to name.

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

Zimbabwe: 29 genera and 272 taxa.

Coleochloa setifera

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

Abildgaardia VahlDescription
Alinula J. RaynalDescription
Ascolepis Nees ex Steud.Description, Image
Bolboschoenus (Asch.) PallaDescription
Bulbostylis KunthDescription, Image
Carex L.Description, Image
Carpha Banks & Sol. ex R. Br.Description
Cladium P. BrowneDescription
Coleochloa GillyDescription, Image
Costularia C.B. ClarkeDescription
Courtoisina SojákDescription
Cyperus L.Description, Image
Eleocharis R. Br.Description, Image
Ficinia Schrad.Description
Fimbristylis VahlDescription
Fuirena Rottb.Description
Isolepis R. Br.Description
Kyllinga Rottb.Description, Image
Kyllingiella R.W. Haines & LyeDescription
Lipocarpha R.Br.Description, Image
Oxycaryum NeesDescription
Pycreus P. Beauv.Description
Rhynchospora VahlDescription
Schoenoplectiella LyeDescription
Schoenoplectus (Rchb.) PallaDescription, Image
Schoenoxiphium NeesDescription
Schoenus L.Description
Scleria BergiusDescription, Image
Tetraria P. Beauv.Description

Other sources of information about Cyperaceae:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cyperaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cyperaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cyperaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cyperaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cyperaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cyperaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Cyperaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cyperaceae
Wikipedia: Cyperaceae
Plants of the World Online: Cyperaceae
Tropicos: Cyperaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Cyperaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=69, retrieved 27 February 2024

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