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This species is accepted, and its native range is Central African Republic to Ethiopia and S. Tropical Africa, India to Thailand.
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: Sudan, Djur, Majob, Schweinfurth 1547 (B!, holo.; K!, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, tufted, 8–60 cm tall, with a bulbous or tuberous culm-base covered by rather thick brown or blackish old fibres from leaf sheaths.
Morphology Culms
Culms few to many and crowded, 0.5–3.5 mm wide, trigonous to triquetrous, glabrous
Morphology Leaves
Leaf blade linear, flat or slightly channelled, 5–30 × 0.1–0.7 cm, scabrid on at least margin and primary vein, attenuate Leaves with leaf sheath pale to dark brown, 3–7 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, often conspiculously dilated at the base, erect, spreading or reflexed, 2–5, lowermost 2–20 × 0.1–0.6 cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence capitate, hemispherical or irregular, white or cream, 8–21 mm in diameter.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets many per head, lanceolate, 4–8 mm long, 0.7–2 mm wide, 2–4-flowered but often only perfecting 1 nutlet.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes white but usually pinkish brown when dry, concave, 3–5.9 mm long, 1.1–1.4 mm wide, keel obscure, with 4–10 veins on either side, apex acuminate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 3.7–7 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers yellow, 1.6–2.3 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet dark brown to blackish, oblong to broadly obovoid and slightly trigonous to cylindrical, 1.4–3.5 mm long, 0.5–1.2 mm wide, conspicuously apiculate, minutely papillose, completely enveloped by the glume when mature.
Ecology
Grassland (especially rather open grassland or on heavy/black soils), open woodland, bushed grassland, scattered tree grassland, occasionally on thin soil over rock; may be locally common; 0–2000(–2400) m
Conservation
Least Concern (LC) due to its wide distribution and common habitat
Note
The inflorescence carries bulbils in Bally 8126 from Lake Jipe ( T 2), but I have not seen this in any other specimen. " C. submacropus again differs very little from C. mollipes; Lye in Fl. Eth. distinguishes them by spikelets 3–6-flowered and glume not tightly enveloping the mature nutlet ( submacropus) or 1-flowered and glume tightly enveloping the mature nutlet ( mollipes). C. mollipes certainly can have more than 1 flower per spikelet, although often only a single fruit develops; the type of macropus has some spikelets that look 1-flowered, though most are several-flowered. The glumes of all specimens look pretty tightly enveloping at all times. Haines & Lye had C. submacropus as a synonym of circumclusus. Regarding the differences between circumclusus and mollipes, it is interesting to see that the author of these two species had a completely different ‘take’ on their differences from Haines and Lye: C.B. Clarke said of his circumclusus and mollipes: “spikelets and nuts are the same; bracts of mollipes entirely want the dilated striated base [of circumclusus]”. He added that the type of mollipes lacked the lower part of the culm, so he could not comment on its leaf sheaths – this is rather strange, as the K specimen of the type, with notes from Clarke, has leaf sheaths and lower culm! What is more, in my (HB) opinion these look identical to those of circumclusus. Hoenselaar sank C. amomodorus and C. globifer into C. mollipes, as the differences in size, number of bracts, shape of inflorescence, splitting/non-splitting of leaf sheaths, all overlap; she felt there is no consistent difference, and this is a single, very variable species. I (HB) fully agree with her. Spikelets 5–8 × 1–2 mm; glumes 3–4 mm long; nutlets obovoid, 1.4–1.7 which leaves as only absolute difference the size of the nutlet. I am unable to find a correlation between nutlet size/shape and glume size. Haines & Lye: circumclusus and amomodorus (= mollipes) “very similar”, but (extracted from descriptions) The type of mollipes has dark-coloured mature nutlets of 2.1–2.5 mm long, almost cylindrical; the type of circumclusus has paler nutlets of 2.3–2.5 mm long, rather trigonous. This is not, in my (HB) opinion, enough to separate taxa at species level; all the more since very few of our specimens exhibit mature nutlets. For this reason I hereby unite these two names, as the one distinguishing character used by C.B. Clarke (the inflorescence bract base) does not hold, when viewing our large range of specimens; the characters used by Haines & Lye, by other authors, and by Kükenthal are either very feeble or, again, are joined by a whole host of specimens with intermediate characteristics for any of their ‘distinguishing characters’. After having come to this conclusion, I was gratified to see so many specimens with a det-label by Ms S. Hooper saying mollipes on what others had named circumclusus! The original names for both taxa were Boeckeler names that already had the same epithet within Cyperus; C.B. Clarke gave both new names, and his mollipes is the oldest, as his circumclusus in the same publication lacks any description.
Distribution
Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zambia, Malawi Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 U4 K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8

[FTEA]

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

Type
Type: Malawi, Zomba and plains, Whyte s.n.
Note
Clarke mentions the lack of basal parts on the specimen. Kükenthal cites five more specimens, all from Tanzania, and says this is probably the same as C. submacropus [ in this treatment included in C. mollipes]; but a taxon described on upper stem and inflorescence alone must remain very doubtful as to status.

[FTEA]

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

Type
Type: Zanzibar, Speke & Grant s.n. (K, holo.; out on loan)
Note
This taxon is treated in Cyperus, under C. mollipes.

Native to:

Central African Repu, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Cyperus mollipes (C.B.Clarke) K.Schum. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 10, 1995 Gilbert, M.G. [4558], Ethiopia K000480921
Schweinfurth, G. [1547], Sudan K000321395 Unknown type material
Put [2832], Thailand K000467869
Marcan, A. [1766], Thailand K000467870
Richards, M. [24358], Tanzania K000480901
Friis, I. [9551], Ethiopia K000480920
Cameron, K.J. [90], Malawi K000362623 isotype
Gamble, J.S. [14279], Tamil Nadu K000592589 Unknown type material
Cameron, K.J. [90], Malawi K000362624 holotype
Greenway, P.J. [9187], Tanzania K000480903
Kerr, A.F.G. [7023], Thailand K000467874
Kerr, A.F.G. [19489], Thailand K000467873
Marcan, A. [1766], Thailand K000467871
Marcan, A. [2175], Thailand K000467872
Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi Cyperus firmipes K000362621 holotype
Jan 1, 1989 Richards, M. [21076], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480897
Jan 1, 1983 Greenway, P.J. [9869], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480906
Jan 1, 1983 Harris, L.D. [114], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480911
Jan 1, 1983 Brown, E.S. [647], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480912
Jan 1, 1983 Troupin, G. [2822], Rwanda Mariscus mollipes K000480928
Jan 1, 1983 Greenway, P.J. [10614], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480907
Jan 1, 1983 Simpson, N.D. [7315], Sudan Mariscus mollipes K000480924
Jan 1, 1983 Wingfield, R. [1807], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480919
Jan 1, 1983 Philip, M.S. [545], Uganda Mariscus mollipes K000480884
Jan 1, 1983 Lye, K.A. [5583], Uganda Mariscus mollipes K000480883
Jan 1, 1983 Wickens, G.E. [77], Sudan Mariscus mollipes K000480922
Jan 1, 1983 Greenway, P.J. [14809], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480917
Jan 1, 1983 Brooks [94], Uganda Mariscus mollipes K000480882
Jan 1, 1983 Simpson, N.D. [7263], Sudan Mariscus mollipes K000480923
Jan 1, 1983 Stewart, D.R.M. [336], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480892
Jan 1, 1983 Taiti, S. [1887], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480891
Jan 1, 1983 Richards, M. [21297], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480900
Jan 1, 1983 Wilson, J. [2048], Uganda Mariscus mollipes K000480886
Jan 1, 1983 Sillitoe, F. [56], Sudan Mariscus mollipes K000480925
Jan 1, 1983 Bogdan, A. [4528], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480888
Jan 1, 1983 Richards, M. [7096], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480904
Jan 1, 1983 Reekmans, M. [5309], Burundi Mariscus mollipes K000480929
Jan 1, 1983 Dawkins, H.C. [563], Uganda Mariscus mollipes K000480885
Jan 1, 1983 Reekmans, M. [9804], Burundi Mariscus mollipes K000480930
Jan 1, 1983 Paulo, S. [441], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480909
Jan 1, 1983 Greenway, P.J. [14810], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480918
Jan 1, 1969 Richards, M. [24843], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480898
Feb 2, 1953 Drummond, R.B. [1092], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480895
Feb 2, 1953 Drummond, R.B. [1092], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480896
Bally [8126], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480887
Hooper, S. [1328], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480889
Richards, M. [20277], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480899
Richards, M. [7199], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480905
Rao, C.K. [s.n.], India Mariscus mollipes K000480933
Prince, S.D. [25], Zambia Mariscus mollipes K000480936
Kabuye, C. [249], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480893
Braun, H.M.H. [200], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480908
Vesey-Fitzgerald, D. [7201], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480910
Robinson, E.A. [2551], Zambia Mariscus mollipes K000480935
Robinson, E.A. [4188], Zambia Mariscus mollipes K000480938
Stewart [451], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480890
Nicolson, D.H. [2236], India Mariscus mollipes K000480934
Greenway, P.J. [1779], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480915
Richards, M. [24808], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480902
Drummond, R.B. [4184], Kenya Mariscus mollipes K000480894
Pedersen, C. [646], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480916
Lloyd, H.M. [15], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480913
Robinson, E.A. [2000], Zambia Mariscus mollipes K000480937
Robinson, E.A. [1796], Zambia Mariscus mollipes K000480932
Boaler, S.B. [701], Tanzania Mariscus mollipes K000480914
Schweinfurth, G. [1503], Sudan Cyperus submacropus K000321401
Schweinfurth, G. [1917], Sudan Cyperus submacropus K000321400 isotype

First published in H.G.A.Engler, Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas, C: 122 (1895)

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

  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(2): 1-94. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • E.P 4: 20 (101): 557 (1936)
  • Fl. Eth. 6: 468 (1997).
  • P.O.A. C: 122 (1895)

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East 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