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This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya (Kitui District).
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: Kenya, Kitui District: 1 km from Kaunange Primary School towards Endau, Kirika et al. NMK326 (EA, holo.; K!, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Annual or short-lived perennial up to 120 cm tall.
Morphology Culms
Culms few, 48–118 cm long, 2–6 mm wide, trigonous, smooth
Morphology Leaves
Leaf sheath pale to mid-brown, 5–26 cm long. Leaves up to 56 cm long. Leaf blade linear, flat, 23–36 cm long, 5–8 mm wide, scabrid on margins, apex acuminate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, spreading, 3–4, lowermost 24–39 cm long, 5.4–8 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a compound anthela, lax, 5–7, 5–15.5 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets in loose clusters, at the end of primary and secondary branches, 5–25 per cluster, linear, flattened, 10–32 mm long, 2–2.9(–4.7) mm wide, spreading during maturation, rachis straight to curved when mature.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes straw-coloured to golden/red-brown, 3.3–5.9 mm long, 1.6–2.2 mm wide, keel green, apex acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 3.1–4 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers 1.5–1.7 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet golden-brown, obovoid, trigonous, 1.1–1.4 mm long, 0.8–1.1 mm wide, apiculate, minutely papillose with prominent ridges.
Ecology
Seasonally moist grassland or roadside ditch; 400–700 m
Conservation
Vulnerable (D2); this species occurs in a small area, and occurs on private land and in road ditches; this makes it vulnerable to change.
Note
Easily recognized due to its nutlet.
Distribution
Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: K4

[KBu]

Muasya, A., & Simpson, D. (2004). Cyperus kituiensis (Cyperaceae), a New Species from Kenya. Kew Bulletin, 59(2), 247-249. doi:10.2307/4115857

Conservation
Vulnerable (VU D2). The species is scattered around a stretch of roadside 0.5 km long. Although a relatively large population was observed, it occurs on private land and in roadside ditches, so it could be vulnerable to changes in land use.
Distribution
Africa: Kenya.
Ecology
Seasonal wetland; 435 m.
Morphology Culms
Culm 48 - 110 x 0.2 - 0.6 cm, but c. 7 mm thick across the sheath, glabrous, trigonous, smooth
Morphology General Habit
Annual to short lived perennial
Morphology Leaves
Leaf sheath 17.4 - 26 cm long, glabrous, pale to mid-brownish Leaf blade 23.5 - 30.2 x 0.5 - 0.8 cm, flat, glabrous, margins scabrid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 3, anthers 1.5 - 1.7 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style trifid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet 1.1 - 1.2 x 0.8 - 0.9 mm, golden brown, surface minutely papillose with prominent ridges, apiculate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax, umbel-like, compound; primary branches 7, 5.6 - 15.5 cm long, secondary branches 2 - 3.2 cm long Spikes 3.5 - 5.4 x 4.1 - 6.5 cm, each consisting of 5 - 18 loosely packed spikelets
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, usually 4 per inflorescence, major bracts 24.5 - 30 x 0.6 - 0.8 cm, margins minutely scabrid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes 3.3 - 3.7 x 0.7 - 0.8 mm, acute, sides straw-coloured to golden-brown; midrib green, with two membranous, chestnut-brown wing-like structures extending from the base of the glume and often disarticulating with it
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 1 - 3.2 x 0.2 cm, flattened, linear, 11 - 22-flowered, falling off entire when mature
Note
The specific epithet is based on the name of the District in which the type locality occurs. This new species is close to Cyperus kwalensis, but differs in having spikelets disarticulating whole (versus persistent), larger glumes (3.3 - 3.7 versus 3 - 3.5 mm long) and nutlets with prominent ridges (versus no ridges) on the surface. Cyperus kituiensis is remarkable on account of the ridges on the nutlet surface. This is the first time such a feature has been observed in Cyperus and is reminiscent of the nutlet surface structure in Hypolytrum or Mapania. The ridges are formed by the outer cuticular layer of the fruit wall. The nutlets were observed in both living and dried material; in all cases they were mature with fully formed walls, showing that the ridges were not due to the collapse of an immature nutlet wall. Also of interest are the dark-coloured wing-like structures at the base of the glume. These are seen on a number of other Cyperus species, such as C. distans L.f. and C. rotundus L. but are much less prominent, and are the same colour as the glume lamina.
Type
Kenya, Kitui Distr., Kirika, Mbii & Wambugu NMK326 (holotypus EA; isotypus K).

Native to:

Kenya

Cyperus kituiensis Muasya appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Apr 1, 2008 Kirika, P., Mbii, J. [326], Kenya K000743736 isotype

First published in Kew Bull. 59: 247 (2004)

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.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Literature

Kew Bulletin

  • Haines, R. W. & Lye, K. A. (1983). The sedges and rushes of East Africa. East African Natural History Society, Nairobi.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • K.B. 59: 247 (2004)

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 Bulletin
Kew Bulletin
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/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