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Published In: Genera Plantarum 26. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: I. KUKKONEN Botanical Museum, P.O.Box 7, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
General/Distribution: About 70 genera and 4000 species, distributed throughout the world. Represented in Pakistan by 22 genera and 179 species, of which many are weeds.
Comment/Acknowledgements: For identification, as complete plants as possible must be collected, including underground parts. In critical groups plants both in flower and fruit may be needed. A selection of descriptive terms is given in Figs. 1 and 2; more complete presentation is given in Kukkonen (in Ann. Bot. Fenn. 31: 37-43. 1993) and (in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 173: 7-12. 1998).


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Perennial, rarely annual plants; caespitose or rhizome creeping, often stoloniferous, sometimes tuberiferous or with bulbils. Stem mostly scapose, solid, trigonous, without hairs, but scabrous along edges, often cylindrical, smooth. Leaves in three ranks, mostly basal or subbasal, with sheaths, with or without ligules, blades usually glabrous, but apex and margins barbed; blades reduced in several groups. Inflorescence a spike, multiple spike or large compound, crateriform anthelodium; glumes spirally or distichously arranged. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, seldom dioecious; perfect flowers with or without bristle-like perianth, with 1-3 stamens, rarely more, and 2-3 stigmas; unisexual flowers composed of stamens in axil of glume, or gynoecium in axil of prophyll (utricle). Nut trigonous or bi-convex, sometimes winged.

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1 (1) Flowers (at least some) bisexual (subfam. Cyperoideae). (1)
+ Flowers unisexual (subfam. Caricoideae, tribe Cariceae). (2)
2 (1) Spikes many-flowered; if only 2-3 flowers, then with at most, 1 or 2 empty basal glumes (Cyperus subg. Mariscus, and Kyllinga). (2)
+ Spikes with few flowers (mostly 1-2); 2 to several basal glumes empty. (3)
3 (2) Leaves reduced to basal sheaths (in submerged plants often elongated blades, e.g., in Schoenoplectus). (3)
+ At least some basal leaves with blades. (4)
4 (3) Inflorescence a simple spike. 10 Eleocharis
+ Inflorescence multiple spike or anthelodium. (5)
5 (4) Glumes in spikelets arranged distichously. 15 Cyperus
+ Glumes arranged spirally. 3 Schoenoplectus
6 Stem leafy with several elongated internodes; glumes truncate, hairy, scarious, metallic grey; perianth bristles missing. 14 Fuirena
+ Leaves basal, stem with one much elongated internode; glumes not as above; perianth bristles present or absent. (7)
7 (6) Inflorescence a solitary spike; leaves much reduced. 7 Trichophorum
+ Inflorescence a multiple spike or anthelodium; leaf blades long. (8)
8 (7) Perianth bristles finally much exceeding glumes. (8)
+ Perianth bristles not exceeding glumes or absent. (9)
9 (8) Inflorescence a single head. 9 Eriophorum
+ Inflorescence formed by several peduncled spikes. 8 Erioscirpus
10 Spikes congested into pseudo-lateral, spherical heads. 4 Scirpoides
+ Spikes not in pseudo-lateral, spherical heads. (11)
11 (10) Style base enlarged into a stylopodium. (11)
+ Style base not enlarged into a stylopodium. (12)
12 (11) Nut crowned by a persistent small stylopodium. 13 Bulbostylis
+ Stylopodium deciduous. (13)
13 (12) Inflorescence with 1-3 spikes. 11 Abildgaardia
+ Inflorescence with several to numerous spikes. 12 Fimbristylis
14 (14) Perianth bristles present. (14)
+ Perianth bristles absent. (15)
15 (14) Spikes distichously arranged (3-18 sessile spikes, 5-8 mm). 5 Blysmus
+ Spikes not distichously arranged. (16)
16 (15) Inflorescence formed by less than 15 spikes, 8 - 30 mm. 2 Bolboschoenus
+ Inflorescence an anthelodium, spikelets numerous, 3-7 mm. 1 Actinoscirpus
17 (17) Glumes spirally arranged. (17)
+ Glumes distichous. (18)
18 (17) Glumes with short obtrullate lamina and long squarrose arista. 18 Lipocarpha
+ Glumes cymbiform, midnerve barely reaching apex. 6 Isolepis
19 Nuts with flat face towards spike axis. 15 Cyperus
+ Nuts with edge facing spike axis. (20)
20 (19) Inflorescence formed by 1-3 heads; spikes with less than 6 glumes. 17 Kyllinga
+ Inflorescence a multiple spike or anthelodium; spikes with more than (8-)10 glumes. 16 Pycreus
21 Inflorescence formed by several groups of spikes at each stem node 20 Cladium
+ Inflorescence a single terminal group of spikes. 19 Schoenus
22 Utricle closed, mostly beaked; rachilla mostly not present or, when present, sterile and mostly hidden within utricle. 22 Carex
+ Utricle abaxially more or less open, at least, basal ones, and beak not differentiated; staminate flowers on axis which extends from, or remains as sterile rachilla enclosed in utricle. 21 Kobresia
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