Cyperus L.

Cyperus aromaticus (Ridl.) Mattf. & Kük.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Robust perennial with a creeping rhizome and densely set stems
Vegetative Multiplication Rhizomes
Rhizome including scales c. 5 mm thick, the scales fairly thick, pale brown to dark purple or blackish, less than 10 mm long
Morphology Stem
Stems 25–90 cm long and 1–3 mm thick (but wider across the leaf-sheaths), the basal part usually covered by purplish sheaths without leaf-blades
Morphology Leaves Leaf sheaths
Upper leaf-sheaths with blades 3–15 cm long and 2–6 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts 5–8, usually long and spreading, the longest 6–15 cm; inflorescence an irregular hemispherical to globose head with a central spike and usually several smaller lateral spikes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 3–4 mm long, 1–2-flowered, but only one producing nutlet
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes yellowish or straw-coloured with greenish midrib and frequently with dark brown dots or streaks especially near the midrib; 3–5 ribs on each side of the midrib
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style with 2 branches
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet 1.2–1.5 mm long.
N1 tropical Africa.
Altitude probably 1000–1500 m.

Native to:

Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Réunion, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaïre

Introduced into:

Andaman Is., Chagos Archipelago, China Southeast, Christmas I., Fiji, India, Malaya, Marquesas, New Caledonia, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Samoa, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Windward Is.

Cyperus aromaticus (Ridl.) Mattf. & Kük. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 20(101): 581 (1936)

Accepted by

  • Middleton, D.J. & al. (eds.) (2019). Flora of Singapore 7: 1-525. Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Not 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. [Cited as Kyllinga polyphylla.]
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne. [Cited as Kyllinga polyphylla.]
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466. [Cited as Kyllinga polyphylla var. polyphylla.]


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • 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.
  • Lorence, D.H. & Wagner, W.L. (2019). Flora of the Marquesas Islands 1: 1-411. National Tropical Botanic Garden, Smithsonian, DRPF.
  • MacKee, H.S. (1994). Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie, ed. 2: 1-164. Museum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris.
  • Pandey, R.P. & Dilwakar, P.G. (2008). An integrated check-list flora of Andaman and Nicobar islands, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 32: 403-500.
  • Sheppard, C.R.C. & Seaward, M.R.D. (eds.) (1999). Ecology of the Chagos archipelago: 1-350. Westbury Academic & Scientific Publishing, Otley.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 4, (1995) Author: by K. A. Lye [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. 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 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Plants and People Africa

    Common Names from Plants and People Africa
    © Plants and People Africa