1. Family: Cyperaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Carex L.
      1. Carex petitiana A.Rich.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Cameroon, Ethiopia to Zimbabwe.

    [FTEA]

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

    Leaves
    Leaf sheaths orange-brown or purplish Leaf-blades 10–60 cm long, 3–10 mm wide, flat or plicate, scabrid at least on margins or ± smooth.
    Inflorescences
    Lateral spikes progressively female with only few male flowers at the base or entirely female. Inflorescence of 4–8 erect or drooping greenish or brown spikes, arising singly at the nodes, 2–7 cm long, 4–7(–10) mm wide; terminal spike entirely male or up to half female above the male flowers.
    Peduncles
    Peducles 1–5(–14) cm long.
    Glume
    Glumes pale brown, coppery or reddish brown with broad pale or green midribs, 3–6 mm long including arista
    Fruits
    Utricles green with dense dark speckling, (3.5–)4–6 mm long including 1–1.5 mm long beak, glabrous or scabrid; beak deeply bifid with distinct divaricate spine-like teeth
    Figures
    Fig 66, p440
    Ecology
    Forest (bamboo, Hagenia etc.) and forest edges, grassland and heath by streams, StoebeMyrsine association; (2100–)2400–3450 m
    Note
    Two specimens from Kenya (Nyeri District: Aberdare National Park, Chania waterfall, 9 April 1975, Hepper & Field 4954! & Aberdares, 1.6 km W of Kiandogoro Gate, Gikururu, 14 Oct. 1970, Mabberley 337!; habitat in shade in spray of waterfall, river bank; 2950–3050 m) have a lax look to the inflorescence, but this may be due merely to the maturity of the material, with most fruits fallen; and the finely reticulate dark nuts more obvious due to the same reason – obscure reticulation is present in less mature fruits. I have been unable to separate C. preussii from the East African material of the cuprea form of C. petitiana. Since Kükenthal made it a variety of C. longipedunculata it would appear he more or less agreed. There are a number of confusing statements in the literature concerning the structure of the spikelets in C. petitiana. Boott, Carex 2: 88, t. 259 clearly shows and describes the beak of the utricle as truncate and entire. C.B. Clarke (F.T.A. 8: 523 (1902)) states ‘the characteristic feature is the minute subentire beak of the utricle’. This is contradicted by utricles at K taken by Nelmes from the type borrowed from P which have the beak clearly bifid with distinct teeth. Both P. Lowry and Lye have examined the type and confirm this but also state (in litt.) that the teeth have broken off in many cases which may have misled Boott; C.B. Clarke did not see the type. Nelmes has introduced some additional confusion; in a note on a cover he states that when examining type material of C. petitiana he decided it represented two very distinct species; only one specimen of the some half a dozen on the type sheet represent C. petitiana auctt. and that most of the material and the description refer to another species and is the true C. petitiana. To make some sense of this I borrowed the specimen again. It is annotated by Nelmes (and he gives C. longipedunculata in synonymy on the label and also had separated a portion as C. robusta Hochst MS ( C. petitiana auct., non A. Rich.) which has since been removed and placed on the sheet to which it belongs. Haines & Lye have treated C. fisheri, C. cuprea, C. ninagongensis and C. longipedicellata as synonyms of C. petitiana believing that characters such as spikes all androgynous, similar as opposed to upper 1–3 spikes usually male or almost entirely so cannot be used as separating characters; but state that much more research is needed. Napper makes great use of the sexual make-up of the spikes in her keys. Collectors should assess this in the field when finding populations which are by inspection clearly one species. My attempts to resurrect some of these previously recognised taxa perhaps at infraspecific level have not been very satisfactory. Plants with dull to bright greenish slim spikes 5–9 cm long, 5–6 mm wide with leaves up to 8 mm wide, match C. fischeri, widespread from the Kenya Highlands to N Tanzania; and have been so annotated by Nelmes, Alm and others without doubt e.g. Bogdan 5388, E Mt Elgon, 12 Jan. 1962; Haines 4316, Ravine District, Timboroa, 19 Dec. 1969; Haarer 1159, SW Kilimanjaro, Feb. 1928; Hedberg 2420, Arusha District, E Mt Meru, above Olkakola, 31 Oct. 1948. Very narrow leaved plants (2–3 mm) from the Virunga Mts, particularly between Mgahinga and Muhavura mountains and Mt Elgon, Sasa Stream, 22 Mar. 1951 have been determined as C. ninagongensis; Robyns & Tournay separate C. ninagongensis from C. fischeri by being less robust with leaves 3–5 mm wide, leaf sheaths purple and lateral spikes bisexual 2–4 cm long, 3–5 mm wide contrasting with more robust, leaves 4–8 mm wide, leaf sheaths brownish and lateral spikes female 4–6 cm long, 5–7 mm wide. Material from Kenya with short broad spikes, bright coppery glumes and broad leaves has mostly been called C. cuprea e.g. Newbould 3373 (Northern Frontier Province, Ndoto Mts, Siruan, 1 Jan. 1959 and Bogdan 3525, Nakuru District Thomsons Falls to Nakuru, 14 Aug. 1952. There are however many intermediates and the complicated variation patterns have persuaded me that Haines & Lye are correct. There is great scope for modern methods.
    Type
    Type: Ethiopia, Wojerat [Ouodgerate], Petit s.n. (P!, holo.; K!, fragment)
    Habit
    Perennial tussock-forming herb 0.4–1.2 m tall and up to 90 cm wide with short to ± long creeping rhizome, glabrous
    Distribution
    Range: Cameroon, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia Flora districts: U2 U3 K3 K4 K5 K6T2 T7

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Carex petitiana A.Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Feb 9, 2006 Bogdan, A. [4824], Kenya K000333632
    Feb 9, 2006 Bogdan, A. [2834], Kenya K000333633
    Feb 9, 2006 Bogdan, A. [3251], Kenya K000333640
    Feb 9, 2006 Bogdan, A. [5388], Kenya K000333642
    Feb 9, 2006 Hedberg, O. [192], Kenya K000333638
    Feb 9, 2006 Hedberg, O. [112], Kenya K000333644
    Feb 9, 2006 Hedberg, O. [1091], Kenya K000333645
    Feb 9, 2006 Haines, R.W. [4316], Kenya K000333643
    Feb 9, 2006 Kerfoot, O. [2759], Kenya K000333637
    Feb 9, 2006 Maas Geesteranus, R.A. [6015], Kenya K000333634
    Feb 9, 2006 Maas Geesteranus, R.A. [5475], Kenya K000333636
    Feb 9, 2006 Maas Geesteranus, R.A. [5966], Kenya K000333641
    Feb 9, 2006 Gilbert, J.B. [16639], Kenya K000333635
    Feb 9, 2006 Haines, W. [4164], Kenya K000333646
    Feb 9, 2006 Trelawny, B.R. [4343], Kenya K000333639
    Oct 18, 2005 Volkens, G. [2015], Tanzania K000363582 isotype
    Oct 18, 2005 Volkens, G. [2015], Tanzania K000363591 holotype
    Jan 27, 2005 Greenway, P.J. [15093], Kenya K000333629
    Jan 27, 2005 Greenway, P.J. [13666], Kenya K000333631
    Jan 27, 2005 Synge, P.M. [1766], Kenya K000333649
    Jan 27, 2005 Glover, P.E. [1458], Kenya K000333650
    Jan 27, 2005 Bogdan, A. [4088], Kenya K000333647
    Jan 27, 2005 Thulin, M. [243], Kenya K000333627
    Jan 27, 2005 Moreau, M.W. [159], Kenya K000333626
    Jan 27, 2005 Battiscombe, E. [911], Kenya K000333630
    Jan 27, 2005 Kerfoot, O. [58], Kenya K000333648
    Jan 27, 2005 Evans, J.O. [s.n.], Kenya K000333625
    Moss, C.E. [999], South Africa K000363605 holotype
    Schimper [1298], Ethiopia K000363462 isotype
    Young, E.M. [s.n.], South Africa K000363649 Unknown type material
    Maas Geesteranus, R.A. [5882], Kenya K000333628
    Petit, A. [s.n.], Ethiopia K000363463 Unknown type material

    First published in Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 513 (1850)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Escudero, M. & Luceño, M. (2011). Taxonomic revision of the tropical African group of Carex subsect. Elatae (sect. Spirostachyae, Cyperaceae) Anales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid 68: 225-247.
    • Gehrke, B. (2011). Synopsis of Carex (Cyperaceae) from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 51-99.
    • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.
    • Govaerts, R. & Simpson, D.A. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Sedges: 1-765. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Gehrke, B. (2011). Synopsis of Carex (Cyperaceae) from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 51-99.
    • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Fl. Eth.: 510, fig. 212.187 (1997).
    • Fl. Rwanda: 430 (1988)
    • Haines & Lye, Sedges & Rushes E. Afr.: 382, fig. 789 (1983)
    • F.T.A. 8: 522 (1902)
    • Fl. Cap. 7: 306 (1898)
    • Engl., Hochgebirgsfl. Trop. Afr.: 152 (1892)
    • Linnaea 40: 411 (1876)
    • Boott, Illustr. Carex 2: 88, t. 259 (1860)
    • Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 514 (1850)

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    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 2019. 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 2019. 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