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Family: Cyperaceae (sedges)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Poales

About 98 genera and 4350 species, with 42 genera and 514 species native to southern Africa. An additional eight species are naturalised and three species are recorded as being cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Archer (2000) and Flora of Zimbabwe, plus additional information from Archer (2003) and Glen (2002).

Abildgaardia

About 10 species (Africa, Asia and Australia), with three species native to southern Africa.

 

Alinula

Four species (Africa and Madagascar), one of which one, Alinula paradoxa, is native to southern Africa.

 

Ascolepis

About 20 species (warm regions of the world), with four species native to southern Africa.

Bolboschoenus

About 11 species (cosmopolitan), with three species native to southern Africa.

 

Bulbostylis

About 100 species (mainly tropical Africa and America), with 23 species native to southern Africa, and one naturalised.

 

Capeobolus

One species, Capeobolus brevicaulis, endemic to Western and Eastern Cape.

 

Carex

About 2000 species (cosmopolitan), with 20 species native to southern Africa and four naturalised. In addition, two species (Carex morrowii and Carex oshimensis) are cultivated in the region.

 

Carpha

About 15 species (southern Hemisphere), with five species native to southern Africa.

 

Chrysitrix

Four species, one in Australia and three endemic to the Western Cape.

 

Cladium

About four species (nearly cosmopolitan), with Cladium mariscus native to southern Africa.

 

Coleochloa

About seven species (Africa and Madagascar), with three species native to southern Africa.

Costularia

About 19 species (Africa, Madagascar and Australia), with one species, Costularia natalensis, native to southern Africa.

 

Courtoisina

Two species (India, Africa and Madagascar), both of which are native to southern Africa.

 

Cyathocoma

Three species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Cyperus

About 550 species (nearly cosmopolitan), with 87 species native to southern Africa and one naturalised.

Eleocharis

About 200 species (near cosmopolitan), with 17 species native to southern Africa.

Epischoenus

Eight species, endemic to southern Africa (Western Cape, Eastern Cape, possibly KwaZulu-Natal).

 

Ficinia

Sixty-four species, all native to southern Africa and mostly endemic to the region but with a couple with distributions extending as far north as Tanzania.

Fimbristylis

About 300 species (warm and temperate regions), with twelve species native to southern Africa.

 

Fuirena

About 30 species (warm regions of the world), with 15 native to southern Africa.

 

Helmuthia

One species, Hellmuthia membranacea, endemic to the Western Cape, where it grows along the coast from the Cape Peninsula to Knysna.

 

Isolepis

About 60 species (temperate and subtropical regions of the world), with 35 species native to southern Africa.

 

Kyllinga

About 60 species (warm, moist regions of the world), with 18 species native to southern Africa.

Kyllingiella

About four species, of which two, Kyllingiella microcephala and Kyllingiella polyphylla (recorded from Zimbabwe), are native to southern Africa.

 

Lipocarpha

About 35 species (warm regions), with six species native to southern Africa .

Mariscus

Fourteen species native to southern Africa.

Monandrus

One species is native to southern Africa - Monandrus longicarpus (recorded from Zimbabwe).

 

Neesenbeckia

One species, Neesenbeckia punctoria (= Tetraria punctoria), which is endemic to the Western Cape.

 

Oxycaryum

One species, Oxycaryum cubense, which is a widespread species distributed through tropical Africa, Central America and South America. In southern Africa, it occurs in the Okavango Swamps (Botswana), Namibia, and northern KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Pseudoschoenus

One species, Pseudoschoenus inanis,native to southern Africa (Free State, Lesotho, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape).

 

Pycreus

About 70 species (warm, moist regions), with 29 species native to southern Africa.

 

Rhynchospora

About 250 species (cosmopolitan, mainly America), with nine species native to southern Africa.

 

Schoenoplectus

About 50 species (tropical and temperate regions), with 16 species native to southern Africa and two species that are naturalised.

Schoenoxiphium

Sixteen species, native to southern Africa, with a few extending further north.

 

Schoenus

About 100 species (worldwide, mainly Australia), with one species, Schoenus nigricans, native to southern Africa.

 

Scirpoides

About five species (temperate regions), with three species native to southern Africa .

 

Scirpus

Four species are native to southern Africa. In addition, Scirpus lacustris (Clubrush) is cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Scleria

About 250 species (tropical and subtropical regions), with 32 native to southern Africa.

Tetraria

About 50 species (Australia, New Zealand and Africa, but mainly in southern Africa), with 42 species native to southern Africa (mainly in fynbos of the Western Cape).

Trianoptiles

Three species, endemic to southern Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape).

 

Volkiella

One species, Volkiella disticha, native to southern Africa (Namibia and extending north).

 

Websteria

One species, Websteria confervoides, with a widespread distribution: tropical America, tropical Africa and Sri Lanka. Within southern Africa, it occurs in the Okavango Swamps (Botswana) and probably in the Caprivi Strip (Namibia).

 

Publications

  • Archer, C. 2000. Cyperaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 594-605. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Archer, C. 2003. Cyperaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 1020-1047. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 


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