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This species is accepted, and its native range is South Sudan to S. Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

Cyperaceae, K Hoenselaar, B. Verdcourt & H. Beentje. Hypolytrum, D Simpson. Fuirena, M Muasya. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2010

Type
Type: Malawi, presumably from the Shire Highlands, Buchanan 24 (B, holo.; K!, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, up to 122 cm tall, with a creeping woody rhizome.
Morphology Culms
Culms few to many, 28–112 cm long, 1.1–5 mm wide, trigonous to triquetrous, smooth
Morphology Leaves
Leaves up to 80 cm long. Leaf blade linear, flat, 22–75 cm long, 3.7–12 mm wide, scabrid on major veins and margin, apex acute to acuminate Leaf sheath purplish at the base, brown, 2–11 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, erect to spreading, 2–5, lowermost 10–23 cm long, 2.7–10 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a compound anthela, primary branches 5–11, 1–11.5 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets in digitate clusters, at the end of primary and secondary branches, 2–8 per cluster, linear-lanceolate, 4–12.5 mm long, 1–2.5(–4.4) mm wide, rachis straight, 10–12-flowered.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes reddish-brown, ovate-lanceolate, 2–2.7 mm long, 0.6–1.3 mm wide, keel green, slightly excurrent, apex acuminate to mucronate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 1.4–2.4 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers 1.2–2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet reddish-brown to dark grey, (narrowly) ellipsoid-oblong, 1.3–1.8 mm long, 0.4–0.6 mm wide, smooth to minutely papillose.
Ecology
In forest, secondary areas in forest zone, stream-sides; 750–2400 m
Conservation
Least Concern (LC) due to wide distribution and common habitat.
Note
The differences used by Haines & Lye do not hold up on studying more material; so I compared the types. In these there is also considerable variation (helped by the fact that Kükenthal lists seven syntypes for pseudoleptocladus) but no very large differences; Kükenthal’s key in Das Pflanzenreich distinguishes the two on the arrangement of spikelets (single or digitate) but that is not corraborated by the material, and again variation is continuous; the descriptions by Kükenthal for each of the taxa could be either taxon, really. I see no other solution than to unite these two under the older name, glaucophyllus. (HB) There is a very confused and often confusing group of taxa: C. ajax, derreilema, fischerianus, glaucophyllus, laxus and pseudoleptocladus, and even renschii. Of these, derreilema is distinct in the obtuse (not acute/acuminate) glume apex. C. renschii and laxus key out on the tiny glumes, 1.2–1.6 mm long (all the others have glumes over 1.8 mm long) –  except laxus subsp. sylvestris, that is (glumes 1.9–3 mm long); these are distinct from each other in leaf, inflorescence and nutlet size. In the other four the differences seem to be gradual and quantitative rather than qualitative. C. ajax has very long and wide leaves, and is altogether more robust than the others; fischerianus is also pretty robust, and can be distinguished on size of leaf – and the often proliferating inflorescence (though Haines & Lye say this is very close to psuedoleptocladus, it can be distinguished easily by the involucral bracts, much wider at base in fischerianus). This leaves glaucophyllus and pseudoleptocladus. Several specimens from a small area in SE Kenya and NE Tanzania have proliferous inflorescences. These are rather small plants, with short rhizomes, slender culms to 80 cm long, leaves not exceeding 30 cm long and 3 mm wide, and small compound-anthelate inflorescences; primary branches 6–12, ultimate heads with few digitately held spikelets; spikelets 3–10 × 1–1.4 mm; glumes pale brown with broad green keel, 2–2.5 mm long, apex acuminate and recurving. Stamens 3. Nutlets (?immature only?) whitish, 0.5–0.7 × 0.3 mm, ± smooth. Kenya: Teita District: Bura, Nov. 1997, Mwachala EW153! & same locality, Dec. 1998, Luke et al. 5503!; Tanzania: Same District: Mkomazi Game Reserve, Ibaya Hill, June 1996, Vollesen 96/7!; Lushoto District: Mswaha–Mandera, July 1969, Archbold 1066! These occur in forest or dense bushland at altitudes between 390–1350 m; Vollesen comments the stems bend over and root when touching the ground. It is possible this represents a new taxon. Harris & Pocs 4255 from Southern Tanzania (Kilombero scarp) is similar, but has longer and wider leaves.
Distribution
Flora districts: U1 K1 K3 K4 K6 K ?7; T1 T2 T3 T5 T6 Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa

[FWTA]

Cyperaceae, Miss S. S. Hooper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

Diagnostic
Similar to C. haspan L. but with somewhat longer, darker spikelets with longer apiculate glumes
Ecology
Near water.

Native to:

Burundi, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre

Cyperus glaucophyllus Boeckeler appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2009 Volkens, G.L.A. [652], Tanzania K001089543 syntype
Jan 1, 2009 Volkens, G.L.A. [650], Tanzania K001089542 syntype
Bidgood, S. [5079], Tanzania K000190307
Buchanan, J. [24], Zambia K000362647
Harris, T. [97], Mozambique Cyperus pseudoleptocladus K000545085

First published in Beitr. Cyper. 1: 4 (1888)

Accepted by

  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. & Simpson, D.A. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Sedges: 1-765. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Beitr. Cyper. 1: 4 (1888)
  • E.P. 4, 20 (101): 202 (1936)
  • F.T.A. 8: 345 (1902)
  • Haines & Lye, Sedges & Rushes E. Afr.: 157, fig. 290 (1983).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0