Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Kyllinga brevifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CyperaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers 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: unisexual or bisexual, 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.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. Note: Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual 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 individual 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. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith, except as noted
Scientific Editor: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: KyllingaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb [annual], glabrous; rhizome long [0]. Stem: 3-angled. Leaf: basal; ligule 0; blade flat or V-shaped in ×-section. Inflorescence: terminal, head-like, of 1--3[4] dense spikes; inflorescence bracts 2--3[4], leaf-like; spikelets 50--100+, 1--2-flowered; flower bracts 2(3), 2-ranked, proximal sterile or with bisexual flower, distal sterile or with staminate flower. Flower: perianth 0; stamens 1--3; stigmas 2. Fruit: 1 per spikelet, dispersed in entire spikelet, 2-sided, lenticular, +- smooth; tubercle 0.
Species In Genus: 40--45 species: tropics to warm temperate worldwide. Etymology: (P. Kylling, Danish botanist, 1640--1696)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gordon C. Tucker

Kyllinga brevifolia Rottb.
Stem: erect, 2--55 cm. Leaf: blade 1.5--3.5 mm wide. Inflorescence: longest inflorescence bract generally erect; spikes 1--3, 4--7 mm; spikelets 2--3 mm, lance-oblong; flower bracts 2--3 mm, midrib prominent, sides transparent, veined. Fruit: 1--1.3 mm, +- elliptic-oblong, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=120.
Ecology: Pond edges, moist disturbed areas; Elevation: < 300 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, SnFrB, SW; Distribution Outside California: tropics, warm temperate; native to tropical America. Flowering Time: May--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: Gordon C. Tucker
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botanical illustration including Kyllinga brevifolia


Citation for this treatment: Gordon C. Tucker 2017. Kyllinga brevifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 28, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 28, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Kyllinga brevifolia:
GV, SnFrB, SW;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.