From The Lycaeum
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about plants in the family Cyperaceae. For other uses of "sedge", see Sedge (disambiguation).
Cyperus polystachyos flower head
Scientific classification e</small>
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae

About 109 (not all listed here)


The Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 genera,[2] the largest being the Carex genus of "true sedges"[3][4] with over 2,000 species.[5] These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South America. While sedges may be found growing in almost all environments, many are associated with wetlands, or with poor soils. Ecological communities dominated by sedges are known as sedgelands.

Features distinguishing members of the sedge family from grasses or rushes are stems with triangular cross-sections (with occasional exceptions) and leaves that are spirally arranged in three ranks (grasses have alternate leaves forming two ranks).[6][7][8]

Some well-known sedges include the water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and the papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus), from which the Ancient Egyptian writing material was made. This family also includes cotton-grass (Eriophorum), spike-rush (Eleocharis), sawgrass (Cladium), nutsedge or nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus, a common lawn weed), and white star sedge (Rhynchospora colorata).

Selected genera


  1. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  2. R. Govaerts & D. A. Simpson, with J. Bruhl, T. Egorova, P. Goetghebeur & K. Wilson (2007). Word Checklist of Cyperaceae: Sedges. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 978-1-84246-199-0. 
  3. "Sedge family – definition and more from the free Mirriam-Webster Dictionary". Mirriam-Webster. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  4. Milne, Lorus Johnson; Milne, Margery Joan Greene (1975). Living plants of the world. Random House. p. 301. 
  5. Hipp, Andrew L. (2007). "Nonuniform processes of chromosome evolution in sedges (Carex: Cyperaceae)". Evolution 61 (9): 2175–2194. ISSN 0014-3820. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00183.x. 
  6. "Grasslike non-grasses". 
  7. Peter W. Ball, A. A. Reznicek & David F. Murray. "210. Cyperaceae Jussieu". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Flora of North America 23. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-515207-4. 
  8. Brian R. Speer (September 29, 1995). "Glumiflorae: More on Morphology". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved March 23, 2007. 

External links

Personal tools

Lycaeum IRC Chat
TheAntiDrug Diaspora
Starting Points