BOTN 201 - Department of Biology Herbarium - TAMU
Images of the Navasota Flora - 4 June 1995

The 'Sedge' family (Cyperaceae) is among the most diverse and widespread monocot families. Ranked as the 4th largest vascular plant family in Texas (see a statistical summary from the Texas Flora Checklist) with 241 species in 14 genera in the state. With ca. 4,000 species from 70 genera and a world-wide distribution, one would expect that this family would be well represented in the ethnoflora. This, however, is not the case. As indicated by the DELTA family description (note Cyperus images at the bottom of the DELTA page) and images of various Cyperaceae taxa from the University of Wisconsin, sedges are characterized by highly reduced, relatively unattractive flowers. Thus, elements of the family are not common inhabitants of gardens. A representative of the type genus, Cyperus alternifolius, is an exception. This 'Umbrella Plant' population, located between Biological Sciences Building - West and the Academic Building, has come a long way from the species natural distribution in Madagascar, the Reunion Islands, and Mauritius. A close look reveals an inflorescence structure typical of the genus; many tight clusters of small, apetalous flowers - often referred to as 'spikelets' - subtended by long bracts.

This distinctive floral display is also evident in species of the genus that are native to the Navasota Flora:

Cyperus pseudovegetus (detail)

Cyperus strigosus (detail)

Cyperus globulosus (detail)

Check out links from the Classification/Information Matrix (Commelinidae) for more information on the Cyperaceae

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Last updated by HDW on 10 June 1995