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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Cameroon.


Muasya, A.M., Harvey, Y., Cheek, M., Tah, K. & Simpson, D.A. 2010. Coleochloa domensis (Cyperaceae),a new epiphytic species from Cameroon. Kew Bulletin 65: 323. DOI:

We assess this plant as Critically Endangered (CR) using the IUCN criteria (IUCN 2001) since it is only known from a single site which is under threat of forest clearance due to agricultural pressure. Overall it is estimated that as much as 96.5% of the original montane (including submontane) forest of the Bamenda Highlands has been lost (Cheek 2000). GIS-based studies within another area of the Bamenda Highlands show that the loss of forest cover continues, with 25 – 30% lost between 1987 – 1995 (Moat 2000). Surveys in other surviving submontane forest fragments of the Bamenda Highlands carried out by British and Cameroonian scientists in recent years have not yet revealed further sites for this species. The Apicultural and Nature Conservation Organisation (ANCO), a non-governmental forest conservation organisation based in Bamenda, has alerted the population of Dom, which manages the forest fragment inhabited by Coleochloadomensis, to the existence of this rare species and its conservation importance.
Epiphytic in submontane tropical rain forest; 1600 – 1830 m.
Morphology Culms
Culms 15 – 30 cm tall, thickness at base including leaf sheaths 3 – 5 mm
Morphology General Habit
A tufted perennial, lacking stolons or rhizomes
Morphology Leaves
Leaves distichously arranged; sheaths open, margins overlapping, glabrous, 2 – 5 mm long; blades flat, glabrous except upper surface of midrib which is densely hairy, 15.5 – 30.7 cm long and 2 – 4 mm wide, deciduous; ligule a dense band of white hairs, 1 – 1.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers with 3 stamens, anthers to 1.2 mm long. Nutlet brownish, pilose, 5 – 5.5 mm long, including beak (to 3 mm excluding beak), linear to lanceolate, trigonous in transverse section; style persistent on mature nutlets, base with tuft of white hairs, to 2 mm long; stigmas 3, with recurved tips
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a stiff panicle (not pendulous), spikes 2 – 4 per leaf axil, peduncles unequal in length and longest to 3 cm. Spikes comprising 6 – 10 spikelets; each spikelet bearing 4 – 6 florets; florets male or female
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes distichously arranged, to 2.5 mm long, minutely papillose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets to 3 mm long with protruding seeds excluded
This species appears to be one of the few sedges known to be obligately epiphytic, being the only one. Coleochloaabyssinica, while normally epilithic through most of its range, has been recorded as being epiphytic in Ethiopia (Lye & Pollard 2004). Bulbostylisdensa (Wall.) Hand.-Mazz. var. cameroonensis Hooper has been observed growing epiphytically on one occasion (Cheek 7575 K!, YA!; Mt Kupe, Cameroon). The habitat of C. domensis is fairly similar to inselberg habitats occupied by most species in the genus. This region of the Cameroon Highlands is home to Microdracoides and Afrotrilepis, other members of the tribe Trilepideae, which are restricted to inselbergs. Coleochloadomensis differs from C. abyssinica, the only congener occurring in West Africa, in being a smaller plant growing in tufts that lack any stolons. Nutlet characters are most conspicuously diagnostic, the nutlets being pilose and having persistent styles with characteristically recurved tips (Fig. 1). These characters are not observed in any other Coleochloa species.
Cameroon, North West Province, Bamenda Highlands, Noni subdivision, near Dom village, forest around Kinjinjang Rock, 25 Sept. 2006, Cheek 13438 (holotypusK!; isotypus YA!).

Native to:


Coleochloa domensis Muasya & D.A.Simpson appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jun 1, 2009 Cheek, M. [13647], Cameroon K000581875
Oct 1, 2008 Cheek, M. [13438], Cameroon K000580059

First published in Kew Bull. 65: 323 (2010)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Kew Bulletin

  • Cheek, M. (2000). Quantification of Montane Forest loss in the Bamenda Highlands. In: M. Cheek, J.-M. Onana & B. J. Pollard, The Plants of Mount Oku and the Ijim Ridge, Cameroon, a Conservation Checklist, pp. 49 – 50. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Goetghebeur, P. (1998). Cyperaceae. In: K. Kubitzki (ed.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants 4. Springer, Berlin.
  • Govaerts, R., Simpson, D. A., Bruhl, J., Egorova, T., Goetghebeur, P. & Wilson, K. L. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Haines, R. W. & Lye, K. A. (1983). The sedges and rushes of East Africa: a flora of the families Juncaceae and Cyperaceae in East Africa, with a particular reference to Uganda. East Africa Natural History Society, Nairobi.
  • IUCN (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  • Lye, K. A. & Pollard, B. J. (2004). Cyperaceae. In: M. Cheek, B. J. Pollard, I. Darbyshire, J.-M. Onana & C. Wild, The Plants of Kupe, Mwanenguba and the Bakossi Mountains, Cameroon, a Conservation Checklist, pp. 434 – 440. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Moat, J. (2000). Satellite Images of Mt Oku and the Ijim Ridge. In: M. Cheek, J.-M. Onana & B. J. Pollard, The Plants of Mount Oku and the Ijim Ridge, Cameroon, a Conservation Checklist. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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 Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

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.