Cyperus distans L.f.

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Cyperus distans

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Cyperus distans

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Cyperus distans

Photo: Petra Ballings
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Cyperus distans

Photo: Petra Ballings
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cyperus keniensis Kük.
Cyperus longibracteatus (Cherm.) Kük.
Cyperus rubrotinctus (Cherm.) Kük.
Mariscus keniensis (Kük.) S.S. Hooper
Mariscus longibracteatus Cherm.
Mariscus rubrotinctus Cherm.
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial sedge 30-150 cm tall, growing from a short thick rhizome with stems tufted, often set in a row. Leaves linear, up to 45 cm long up to 1 cm wide, slightly channeled, sheaths often grey to dark purple or black. Involucral bracts 3-5, leaf-like, longest up to 33 cm. Inflorescence compound umbel-like, up to 25 cm in diameter, with 5-15 promary branches up to 15 cm long. Spikelets often set at right angles, pale to dark brown, sometimes tinged green, 6-20 mm long and up to 2 mm wide.
Notes: A very variable species with inflorescences lax to very dense but always with narrow spikelets.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Many types of moist habitats from forest margins, woodland, grassland or cultivated areas to stream sides and seasonal or permanent marshes.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2100 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 31 March 2007

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 298. as Cyperus keniensis, Mariscus rubrotinctus and M. longibracteatus

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 19. Also as Cyperus keniensis

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 123.

Gordon-Gray, K.D. (1995). Cyperaceae in Natal Strelitzia 2 Page 56.

Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H.J. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 249 - 250.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 87. Also as Mariscus keniensis

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 110. As Cyperus rubrotinctus

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 118.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 77.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 82.

Other sources of information about Cyperus distans:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cyperus distans
Flora of Caprivi: Cyperus distans
Flora of Malawi: Cyperus distans
Flora of Mozambique: Cyperus distans
Flora of Zambia: Cyperus distans

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Cyperus distans., retrieved 26 May 2024

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