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Sedge (Family Cyperaceae)

 

The Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes.

The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 gen-

era, the largest being the Genus Carex of "true sedges" with over 2,000 species.

 

Family Cyperaceae species are widely distributed, with the centers of

diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South

America. While sedges may be found growing in almost all environ-

ments, many are associated with wetlands, or with poor soils. Ecolog-

ical communities dominated by sedges are known as sedgelands.

 

Some well-known sedges include the water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis)

and the papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus), from which the ancient Egyp-

tian writing material was made. This family also includes cotton-grass (Eriophorum spp.), spike-rush (Eleocharis spp.), sawgrass (Cladium

spp.), nutsedge or nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus, a common lawn weed),

and white star sedge (Rhynchospora colorata).

 

 

Back to Inventory of Grass Families and Species