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This species is accepted, and its native range is S. & E. Spain to Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


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

Type: South Africa, Zwellendam W George, Mundt s.n. (B, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial up to 35 cm high, with stolons up to 2 m long.
Morphology Stem
Rooting copiously at each node and ending in an inflorescence.
Morphology Culms
Culm trigonous, smooth, sometimes ± grooved, the non-bearing leaf part 3–29 cm long, 0.7–2.5(–5) mm wide
Morphology Leaves
Leaves up to 21 cm long, spread along the flowering culm. Leaf sheath yellow-brown, sometimes greenish, often with a red-purple coloured triangle at the side opposite the leaf, 1–4(–7) cm long. Leaf blade (narrowly) linear, ± plicate, 2.2–16.5 cm long, 1–5.5(–7.2) mm wide, acute to acuminate, the apex often ± minutely scabrid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Involucral bracts leaf-like, 2–6, spreading, lowermost 1.8–10.5 cm long, 1–4.8 mm wide, apex almost glabrous to ± scabrid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence capitate or simple, when simple primary branches (0–)2–12, (0–)0.5–6.5 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 2–13 per cluster, ovoid-lanceolate to (broadly) ovoid, flattened or sometimes almost conical, the glumes loosely to densely compressed, 1.3–11.5 mm long, 1–4 mm wide, axis straight. Spikelets crowded in digitate, ovoid clusters, sometimes on slightly elongated axis, sessile and at the end of primary branches.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes from almost yellow to (pale) brown to black, ovate, 1.8–2.6 mm long, 1.1–2.2 mm wide, keel acute to rather broad, furrowed on both sides of the keel, not always distinct, 0–3-veined, apex obtuse to almost acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 2–3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 2–3.1 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers 0.7–1.7 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma 2-branched
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet dark (greyish-)brown, obovoid, sometimes almost oblong, biconvex, 0.7–1.1 mm long, 0.4–0.6 mm wide, almost glabrous to minutely papillose to somewhat wrinkled
Fig. 43, p285
Although this species is easily recognizable, it is also very variable. The habit can range from very delicate stolons, leaves and culms to more robust ones; the inflorescence can also vary between specimens, e.g. capitate or simple inflorescences, and the number and length of primary branches, or the size and in shape of the spikelets. Most specimens have ovoidlanceolate spikelets, but some have spikelets which are more obviously ovoid, with loosely arranged glumes and somewhat curved axis, or almost rounded spikelets, not flattened as most Pycreus species, with a low number of glumes which are vere densely compressed. " Pycreus mundtii is easy to recognize as it has leaves up the flowering culm, which separates it from almost all other species in the Flora area. Another good character for this species are the glumes having furrows on each side of the keel, a character which is shared with P. sanguinolentus Vahl. These two species can be easily separated based on habit. In the past, an number of varieties and separate species were described, based on some of these characters. In the FTEA region quite a large number of the specimens can be divided in three groups, according to previous varieties or species. However, quite a distinct number of specimens show characters shared by more than one group, or coincide with each other, and therefore are impossible to identify further than species level; I do believe that varieties can be recognized in this species to a certain level; this distinction will not work on all specimens.


Cyperaceae, Miss S. S. Hooper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

Morphology General Habit
A semi-aquatic plant with a generally submerged creeping rhizome
Morphology Leaves
Stiff leaves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Pale to dark brown clusters of spikelets
Stream and lake margins in or near open water.

Native to:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Free State, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Réunion, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Canary Is., Cuba

Cyperus mundii (Nees) Kunth appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Feb 1, 1893 Ball, J. [152], South Africa Pycreus mundii K000362911
Feb 1, 1893 Salyman [s.n.], South Africa Pycreus mundii K000362912

First published in Enum. Pl. 2: 17 (1837)

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 Pycreus mundii.]
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne. [Cited as Pycreus mundii.]


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 2: 360-550. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(2): 1-94. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Castroviejo, S. & al. (eds.) (2008). Flora Iberica 18: 1-420. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid.
  • Edwards, S., Demissew, S., & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1997). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 6: i-xxviii, 1-586. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Lye, K.A. & Thery, P. (2012). Flore du Gabon 44: 1-230. Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.