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CYPERACEAE SEDGE FAMILY

S. Galen Smith, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; generally bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2–3-branched. Fruit: achene, 2–3 sided.
± 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. [Ball et al. 2002 FNANM 23:1–608] Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. —Scientific Editors: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445; Bruhl 1995 Australian Syst Bot 8:125–305]

Key to Cyperaceae

CYPERUS FLATSEDGE, NUTSEDGE, GALINGALE

Gordon C. Tucker

Annual, perennial herb, glabrous. Stem: generally > 1, erect, 2–100 cm, 3-sided or cylindric. Leaf: basal; blade 0 or linear. Inflorescence: terminal, generally ± umbel-like, with spikes on rays; inflorescence bracts 1–9, leaf-like, spreading or erect; rays <= 20 cm; spikelets flat to not flat; flower bracts 2-ranked, 2–36, each with 1 flower in axil. Flower: bisexual; perianth 0; stamens (1–2) 3; stigmas 2–3. Fruit: (ob)ovoid, generally 3-angled, brown, generally not beaked.
± 600 species: temps, tropics worldwide. (Greek: name for European Cyperus longus) [Tucker 1994 Syst Bot Monogr 43:1–213] Mature fruit generally needed for identification. Cyperus gracilis R. Br., Cyperus owanii Boeck. [Cyperus ligularis L., misappl.], Cyperus regiomontanus Britton, Cyperus retrorsus Chapm., Cyperus virens Michx., urban weeds in California. Cyperus prolifer Lam. not in California.

Key to Cyperus

C. esculentus L.
NATIVE
Perennial herb (10)20–80 cm; stolons with tubers < 11 mm wide. Inflorescence: inflorescence bracts 3–7; rays 4–10, 20–110 mm; spikes ± open, ovate to wide-elliptic; spikelets linear; flower bracts 1.8–2.7(3.4) mm, ovate to ± elliptic, yellow- to dark brown, medially ± brown, ± red, or ± green. Fruit: 1–1.6 mm, elliptic, seldom maturing. Recognition of varieties supported by growth experiments (Schippers et al. 1995 Syst Bot 20:461–481). Occasionally weedy in cultivation fields. [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Cyperus esculentus L. var. esculentus in Old World.

C. esculentus L. var. macrostachyus Boeck.
NATIVE
Plant (20)40–70(80) cm. Inflorescence: spikelets spreading to ± ascending, 10–40 mm, 2.4–3 mm wide; flower bract (2.7) 2.9–3.4(3.6) mm, (1.8)1.9–2.3(2.4) mm wide, ovate. Flower: anthers (1.2)1.3–2(2.1) mm; styles (0.9)1.3–2(2.2) mm, stigmas (2)2.3–2.8(4) mm. Fruit: ± 1.7 mm, ± 0.6 mm wide.
Dunes, disturbed soil, cropland; < 200 m. South Coast; eastern and southern United States, Mexico, Central America, South America. 1 California collection (San Diego, Orcutt 1314). Summer [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Sep 1 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Cyperus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=57292, accessed on Sep 1 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Cyperus esculentus var. macrostachyus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.