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Family Profile

Cyperaceae

Family Description

A family of about 70-90 genera and 4000 species, cosmopolitan but tending to be more common in temperate regions; 47 genera occur naturally in Australia.

Genera

Arthrostylis - A monotypic genus, confined to northern Australia.

Bulbostylis - A widespread genus of about 100 species; about 7 species occur naturally in Australia.

Carex - A cosmopolitan genus of about 1500 species with the highest concentration of species in China and southeastern Asia; about 60 species occur naturally in Australia.

Cyperus - A genus of about 600 species in the tropics and subtropics; about 125 species occur naturally in Australia and more than 20 species have become naturalised.

Eleocharis - A genus of ca. 150 species from the tropics to the polar regions of both hemispheres with the greatest concentration of species in the New World. Ca. 30 species in Australia of which ca. 10 species are endemic.

Exocarya - A monotypic genus in New Guinea and Australia. Stanley & Ross (1989).

Fimbristylis - A genus of ca. 300 species from tropical to warm temperate regions, especially common in south east Asia. 85 species occur naturally in Australia (c. 25 species endemic), all mainland States.

Fuirena - A genus of about 30 species in the warm regions of the world with most species in tropical Africa and tropical America; five species in Australia of which three are endemic.

Gahnia - A genus of about 30 species in SE Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; about 20 species occur naturally in Australia. Kern (1974).

Hypolytrum - A genus of about 50 species, pantropic; three species occur naturally in Australia.

Isolepis - A genus of ca. 70 spp widespread especially Africa and Australia.; ca. 30 species in Australia of which ca. 15 species are endemic. Five exotic species have become naturalised.

Queenslandiella - A monotypic genus widespread from Africa to Australia. Often included in Cyperus. One species in Australia.

Rhynchospora - A genus of about 200 species with a worldwide distribution; 13 species occur naturally in Australia. Stanley & Ross (1989).

Scirpodendron - A monotypic genus in Sri Lanka, SE Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands. Kern (1974).

Scleria - A genus of about 200 species with a worldwide distribution particularly in the tropics but not restricted to that zone; about 25 species occur naturally in Australia. Kern (1974).

Thoracostachyum - A genus of about seven species in the Seychelles, Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; one species occurs naturally in Australia. Kern (1974).

References

Booth, R., Moore, D.J, & Hodgon, J. (2009) Four new species of Cyperus L. (Cyperaceae) from northern Queensland. Austrobaileya 8(1)

Bruhl, J.J., Watson, L. and Dallwitz, M.J. (1992). The genera of Cyperaceae: interactive identification and information retrieval. Taxon 41: 225-234.

Bruhl, J.J. (1995). Sedge genera of the World: Relationships and a new classification of Cyperaceae. Australian Systematic Botany 8: 125-305.

Kern, J.H. (1974). Cyperaceae. Flora Malesiana 7: 435-753.

Kukenthal, G. (1944) Feddes Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis: 192-200.

Rye, B.L. (1992). Cyperaceae. Flora of the Kimberley Region. : 1039.

Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1989). Cyperaceae. Flora of south-eastern Queensland. 3: 277-355.