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

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Perennial with stems solitary from tough, brown, persistent 1–2 mm thick scaly stolons producing new stems successively
Morphology Stem
Stems 5–40 cm long and c. 1 mm wide, triangular, deeply ridged, glabrous or with a few spine-like hairs below the inflorescence, base thickened and covered with old darkened leaf-sheaths
Morphology Leaves
Largest leaves 6–30 cm long and 2–5 mm broad, flat or inrolled, scabrid on margins and midrib, near apex also on upper surface
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a single spike of 1–2-flowered spikelets or rarely a head of several spikes; inflorescence-bracts 2–4, leafy, the largest 2–8 cm long Spikes 5–12 x 5–10 mm, spherical to ovate, white but fading to dirty greyish brown
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 3–4.5 mm long, 1–2-flowered; upper flower usually male
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes 2.5–3 mm long, white, but often with brownish dots, fading greyish brown, with 2–5 nerves on each side of the midrib; apex acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style with 2 branches
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet elliptic to obovate, c. 1.4 x 0.7 mm, dark brown.
Distribution
S3 East Africa.
Ecology
Maritime

[FTEA]

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

Type
Type: Ethiopia, Tchélatchékannè, Quartin Dillon s.n. (P, holo.; P, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, 5–40 cm tall, with long slender whitish stolons or rhizomes, 0.5–2 mm in diameter, at first covered with delicate sheaths, but these soon rotting leaving a few short fibres to mark the nodes, with a few roots from each node.
Morphology Culms
Culms solitary, swollen at the base, 5–40 cm long, 0.7–1.5 mm wide, trigonous, ridged, glabrous or with a few spine-like hairs below the inflorescence
Morphology Leaves
Leaves to 30 cm long, basal sheaths without blades. Leaf blade linear, ± flat, 4–25 cm long, 2–5 mm wide, scabrid on margins and midrib, especially above Leaf sheath pale brown, 1–8 cm long, older ones darkening, covering the base of the culm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, spreading, 2–5, lowermost 2–8 cm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence capitate, a dense irregular or spherical to ovoid head of one to several spikes, when several-spiked often triangular in outline, 5–15 mm long, 5–17 mm wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets narrowly ovoid, 2.5–4.5 × 1–1.7 mm, with 1–5 flowers per spikelet, usually 3 nutlets developing.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes whitish, occasionally with brownish dots, ovate, the largest one 2.5–3 mm long, keel green, with 2–4 veins on either side, apex acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 2–3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 2.4–3 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers 1.2–1.8 long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet pale-coloured to dark brown, ellipsoid to obovoid, flattened, 1–1.6 × 0.–0.7 mm, minutely papillose.
Ecology
Grassland in damp sites, a weed in lawns, roadsides; 600–2150 m
Conservation
Least concern (LC)
Note
Haines & Lye felt K. bulbosa was very similar to purpureo-glandulosus but “has more than one spike per inflorescence, thinner stolons and larger spikelets with more flowers; (..) atypical plants of purpureo-glandulosus with several spikes can be identified by its spikelet producing one nutlet only”. Napper thought sphaerocephalus was a synonym, and so do I: quite a few specimens (e.g. Hazel 3; Hooper & Townsend 1528; Tanner 4083; Coe 705; Parnell 2002; Richards 24888; Wingfield 86c) seem to have both species’ characteristics in a single collection.
Distribution
Range: Widespread in western and central Africa down to Mozambique Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 U4 K3 K4 K5 T1 T2 T3 T4 T7

[FWTA]

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

Morphology General Habit
A generally small, slenderly rhizomatous and tubiferous perennial
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
White heads appearing yellow during flowering because of the numerous anthers
Ecology
In grass on tracks and other disturbed habitats.

Doubtfully present in:

India

Native to:

Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, China Southeast, Congo, East Himalaya, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Florida, Malaya, Mauritius, New South Wales, Queensland, Réunion

Cyperus richardii Steud. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 1, 2001 Pollard, B.J. [139 A], Cameroon K000050651
Mar 1, 1887 Schimper [540], Ethiopia Kyllinga macrocephala K000416273 Unknown type material
Johnston, H.H. [s.n.], Cameroon Kyllinga macrocephala K000416265 Unknown type material
Schimper [540], Ethiopia Kyllinga macrocephala K000416272 Unknown type material
Scott Elliot, G.F. [7626], Uganda Kyllinga macrocephala K000416301
Baron, R. [4257], Madagascar Kyllinga macrocephala K000416334 Unknown type material
Baron, R. [4481], Madagascar Kyllinga macrocephala K000416335
Mauritius Kyllinga macrocephala K000416336
Hens, F. [14. Series B], Congo Kyllinga macrocephala K000416266
Mar 1, 1887 Speke [s.n.], Uganda Kyllinga sphaerocephala K000416302 holotype
Schimper [1269], Ethiopia Kyllinga sphaerocephala K000416287

First published in Syn. Pl. Glumac. 2: 8 (1854)

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 Kyllinga bulbosa.]
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne. [Cited as Kyllinga bulbosa.]

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • (2021). https://dx.doi.org/10.22244/rheedea.2021.31.09 epublication.
  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Cabezas, F., Aedo, C. & Velayos, M. (2004). Checklist of the Cyperaceae of Equatorial Guinea (Annobón, Bioko, Río Muni) Belgian Journal of Botany 137: 3-26.
  • Edwards, S., Demissew, S., & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1997). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 6: i-xxviii, 1-586. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Franck, A.R., Anderson, L.C., Burkhalter, J.R. & Dickman, S. (2016). Additions to the flora of Florida, U.S.A. (2010-2015) Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 10: 175-190.
  • Marais, W. & Araujo, A.C. (2018). Flore des Mascareignes 202: 1-99. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
  • Pandey, R.P. & Dilwakar, P.G. (2008). An integrated check-list flora of Andaman and Nicobar islands, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 32: 403-500.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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