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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FWTA]

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

Diagnostic
Elegant, slender, tufted annual, similar to P. capillifolius but the spikelets darker and narrower
Ecology
Wet flushes on rocky hillsides.

[FTEA]

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

Morphology Leaves
Leaves up to 10 cm long. Leaf sheath reddish-brown to brown, 1.4–2.3 cm long. Leaf blade narrowly linear-filiform, folded or sometimes ± channeled, 1.4–7.5 cm long, 0.6–1.2 mm wide, acute, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts 2. Leaf-like, erect or ± spreading, the lowermost 2.6–8.2 cm long, 0.8–1.2 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence loosely capitate, primary branches 0–2, 0–0.9 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets sessile or in digitate clusters at the end of very short primary branches, 3–7 per primary branch, or up to 30 in a head, linear-oblong, 7.5–11 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, in fruit elongating up to 16 mm long, axis straight, sometimes slightly curved.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes ovate to obovate, brown to almost black, with membranous, transparent margins, 1–1.3 mm long, 0.9–1.1 mm long, keel acute to rounded, 2–3-veined, pale brown, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 2: filaments 0.5–1 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma 2-branched
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet brown to dark greyish-brown, obovoid to obtriangular, somewhat flattened, 0.5–0.6 mm long, 0.3–0.4 mm wide, minutely papillose, punctuate to ± wrinkled-muricate
Ecology
In sandy, boggy grasslands, at edges of pools and as weed in rice fields; 900–1050 m
Conservation
Least Concern (LC) due to distribution and habitat.
Note
This species is easily recognized by its small, annual habit and its narrow brown to almost black spikelets.
Type
Type: Angola, Pungo Andongo, Mutollo, Welwitsch 7154 (BM!, syn.) & Mutollo, Welwitsch 6914 (BM!, syn.); Pungo Andongo, Welwitsch 6913 (BM!, syn.); Huilla, Morro de Sopollo, Welwitsch 6871 (BM!, syn.)
Morphology General Habit
Slender annual up to 20(–35) cm high, with a minute rootsystem.
Morphology Culms
Culms tufted, 6–19(–32) cm long, 0.3–0.5 mm wide, trigonous to rounded, smooth
Distribution
Flora districts: T4 T8 Range: Ghana, Togo, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Angola, Zambia, Malawi

Native to:

Angola, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Cyperus melas Ridl. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jul 22, 1932 Chevalier, A. [5886], Central African Republic Pycreus ater K000363027 Unknown type material
Bidgood, S. [6078], Tanzania Pycreus melas K000468347
Bidgood, S. [5852], Tanzania Pycreus melas K000468573

First published in Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 2: 127 (1884)

Not accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Simpson, D.A. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Sedges: 1-765. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Pycreus melas.]
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne. [Cited as Pycreus melas.]

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Berhaut, J. (1988). Flore illustrée du Sénégal 9: 1-522. Gouvernement du Sénégal, Ministère du développement rural direction des eaux et forêta, Dakar.
  • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.
  • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.

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