Skip to main content
  1. Family: Cyperaceae Juss.
    1. Rhynchospora Vahl

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Cosmopolitan.


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

    Annuals or perennials, rhizomatous or with a poorly developed rootsystem
    Culms rounded to trigonous
    Leaves with sheaths closed; ligule 0, or very inconspicuous ( R gracillima)
    Involucral bracts leaf-like or short
    Inflorescence capitate, simple, corymbose or paniculate, then with clusters of spikelets on peduncles emerging from the axils of the leaves up the culm; clusters of spikelets often corymbose, few to many per cluster
    Spikelets sessile or pedicellate.
    Lower 2–3 glumes empty (sterile) and small, the remainder gradually larger, the uppermost glume often empty Glumes spirally arranged or distichous, imbricate, few or many ( R candida).
    Flowers either all bisexual, the upper ones not maturing the nutlet, or lower 1–few bisexual and upper ones staminate, or unisexual with the lowest pistillate and upper one(s) staminate
    Perianth segments 0–6, bristle-like, upwardly scabrid
    Stamens 2–3.
    Filaments flattened
    Nutlets biconvex.
    Style base persistent, with or without pedicel. Style unbranched, slightly bifid or with 2 long branches
    250 species, especially in tropical South and Meso-America.



    Native to:

    Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Algeria, Amur, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Bahamas, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, British Columbia, Burkina, Burundi, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Central American Pac, Central European Rus, Chad, Chile Central, Chile North, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Colorado, Congo, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Florida, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Galápagos, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Korea, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Labrador, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Louisiana, Madagascar, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maluku, Manchuria, Manitoba, Marianas, Marquesas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Netherlands, New Brunswick, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New South Wales, New York, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ogasawara-shoto, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Puerto Rico, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Réunion, Sakhalin, Samoa, Saskatchewan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Society Is., South Carolina, South Dakota, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Transcaucasus, Trinidad-Tobago, Tubuai Is., Tunisia, Turkey, Turks-Caicos Is., Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Wallis-Futuna Is., Washington, West Siberia, West Virginia, Western Australia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Extinct in:


    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Rhynchospora Vahl appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Nic Lughadha, E. [H 50771], Brazil 58313.000
    Nic Lughadha, E. [H 50771], Brazil 58314.000
    Ollerton, J. [151], Guyana 64736.000
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 3421], Nepal K001119182
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 3422], Nepal K001119351
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 3422], Myanmar K001119352
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 3424], Malaysia K001119355
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 3427], Singapore K001119359
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 3422], India K001119353
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 3424] K001119356
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 3425], India K001119357
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 3428], Sri Lanka K001119360
    Telfair, C. [Cat. no. 3426], Mauritius K001119358


    First published in Enum. Pl. Obs. 2: 229 (1805)

    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.
    • Strong, M.T. (2006). Taxonomy and distribution of Rhynchospora (Cyperaceae) in the Guianas, South America Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 53: 1-225.
    • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2005). Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 52: 1-415.
    • Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Kükenthal in Engl., Bot. Jahrb. 74: 375 (1949), 75: 90 (1950), 75: 273 (1951).
    • F.T.A. 8: 478 (1902)
    • Enum. 2: 229 (1806) nom. et orth. cons.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Enum. Pl. 2: 229 (1805)


    Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew