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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Cyperaceae

30. Scleria P. J. Bergius, Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Handl. 26: 142. 1765.

珍珠茅属 zhen zhu mao shu

Authors: Shuren Zhang, Gordon C. Tucker & David A. Simpson

Herbs, perennial or annual, rhizomatous or not; stolons sometimes present. Culms erect, 3-angled or rarely terete. Leaves cauline or both basal and cauline; sheaths at middle part of culm, winged or not, apex sometimes with contraligule opposite blade; leaf blade linear, scabrid, sheathing, usually prominently 3-veined. Involucral bracts leaflike and sheathing, setaceous, or glumelike; bractlets usually setaceous, rarely glumelike. Inflorescences terminal, paniculate, usually stout and elongated, sometimes reduced into a discontinuous spike. Unisexual spikelets usually dominant on inflorescence, rarely bisexual ones dominant; basal 2-4 glumes of spikelets empty. Male spikelets with several flowers. Female spikelets with a single flower. Bisexual spikelets with a basal female flower and several male flowers. Flowers unisexual. Male flowers: stamens 1-3; anthers linear or linear-oblong; connective apex often protruding and subulate. Female flowers: style base not inflated; stigmas 3. Nutlet brick red, white, or yellowish purple, spherical or ovoid, often obtusely 3-sided, smooth or variously sculptured, mostly shiny, glabrous or hairy (hairs simple or stellate), usually borne on a gynophore apically dilated into a ± 3-lobed disk.

About 200 species: pantropical and extending into temperate regions in S Africa, E Asia, and North and South America; 24 species (three endemic) in China.

Note: nutlets and underground parts are essential for accurate identification.

1 Bisexual spikelets dominant on inflorescences; disk subtending nutlet either stipelike or indistinct   (2)
+ Bisexual spikelets few or absent on inflorescences; disk subtending nutlet lobed or cup-shaped (but not well developed in S. novae-hollandiae)   (6)
2 (1) Annuals, without a rhizome; inflorescences spicate; glumes ovate; nutlet surface transversely rugose.   1 S. pergracilis
+ Perennials, with a woody creeping rhizome; inflorescences paniculate; glumes lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate; nutlet surface smooth, subsmooth, or slightly rugose   (3)
3 (2) Spikelets 4-10 mm, pilose; disk stalklike   (4)
+ Spikelets 3-4.5 mm, glabrous; disk appressed to nutlet   (5)
4 (3) Nutlet 1.5-1.8 mm, covered with tufts of stellate hairs; contraligule absent.   2 S. neesii
+ Nutlet 2.5-2.7 mm, glabrous; contraligule narrow.   3 S. tonkinensis
5 (3) Culms 30-60 cm tall, 1.4-2 mm thick; leaf blade 1.5-2 mm wide; lateral branches of inflorescence often spicate, single; nutlet ca. 2.5 mm.   4 S. lithosperma
+ Culms 60-200 cm tall, 3-7 mm thick; leaf blade 15-20 mm wide; lateral branches of inflorescence cymose, often binate; nutlet ca. 3.5 mm.   5 S. corymbosa
6 (1) Small annuals (or short-lived perennials); rhizomes absent or not well developed   (7)
+ Perennials; rhizomes well developed and prominent   (11)
7 (6) Involucral bracts linear-lanceolate; nutlet ca. 1.5 mm in diam.; disk lobes obtuse.   7 S. rugosa
+ Involucral bracts setaceous; nutlet ca. 2 mm in diam.; disk lobes acute or acuminate   (8)
8 (7) Leaf sheath glabrous; disk ca. 1/2 height of nutlet, lobes brown, membranous, apex acuminate; nutlet surface smooth   (9)
+ Leaf sheath villous; disk 1/4-1/3 height of nutlet, lobes yellowish white, thick, apex acute; nutlet surface pitted with regular longitudinally elongate pattern   (10)
9 (8) Nutlet ± spherical, apex with purple tip.   8 S. biflora
+ Nutlet trisulcate, apex with yellowish white tip.   9 S. laxa
10 (8) Nutlet 2-2.5 mm, subovoid-spherical; perianth lobes rounded at apex.   6 S. novae-hollandiae
+ Nutlet 2.8-3 mm, spheroid to obovoid-spherical; perianth lobes acute at apex.   10 S. parvula
11 (6) Culms terete or slightly 3-angled; leaf sheath not winged   (12)
+ Culms 3-angled or triquetrous; leaf sheath winged at middle part of culm (not obviously in S. hookeriana)   (13)
12 (11) Nutlet surface smooth, only apically slightly hispid; disk not cup-shaped, scarcely 1/5 height of nutlet, appressed to base of nutlet, lobes triangular, margins reflexed; leaves alternate, well spaced, not whorled.   23 S. harlandii
+ Nutlet surface hexagonally reticulate, pilose; disk cup-shaped, 1/2-4/5 height of nutlet and enclosing it, lobe apex dentate, margins not reflexed; leaves ± 3-whorled.   24 S. sumatrensis
13 (11) Nutlet smooth   (14)
+ Nutlet ± reticulate and stellate-hairy   (17)
14 (13) Inflorescences subspicate, branches short or without secondary branches; spikelets with 3-5 awns; nutlet 4-4.5 mm; disk obscurely 3-lobed.   19 S. psilorrhiza
+ Inflorescences paniculate; spikelets without or with fewer fine awns; nutlet 3-3.5 mm; disk obviously 3-lobed   (15)
15 (14) Bractlets glumelike, shorter than spikelet; leaf blade thickly leathery, contraligule scarcely developed; stamen 1; nutlet ca. 2.5 mm in diam.; disk lobes triangular.   20 S. poiformis
+ Bractlets setaceous, longer than spikelet; leaf blade papery, contraligule conspicuous and triangular; stamens 3; nutlet ca. 2 mm in diam.; disk lobes subrounded at apex   (16)
16 (15) Inflorescences with 4 or 5 lateral branches; disk lobes semicircular.   21 S. radula
+ Inflorescences with 1-3 lateral branches; disk lobes ovate.   22 S. oblata
17 (13) Glumes blackish purple; leaf sheath obscurely winged; inflorescences without or rarely with a distant branch.   11 S. hookeriana
+ Glumes brown or reddish brown; leaf sheath obviously winged; inflorescences with 1-3 distant branches   (18)
18 (17) Contraligule oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 4-12 mm, glabrous.   12 S. ciliaris
+ Contraligule depressed rounded, semicircular or nearly semicircular, at most 4 mm, ciliate or glabrescent   (19)
19 (18) Disk slightly 3-lobed or barely lobed; lobes flatly semicircular, apex rounded   (20)
+ Disk deeply 3-lobed; lobes lanceolate-triangular or ovate-triangular, apex acute to subtruncate   (21)
20 (19) Nutlet with white reticulation.   13 S. terrestris
+ Nutlet with purplish brown reticulation.   14 S. dulungensis
21 (19) Nutlet ca. 2 mm in diam., rugose.   15 S. levis
+ Nutlet 2.5-2.8 mm in diam., reticulate-pitted or scrobiculate   (22)
22 (21) Leaves alternate, not whorled; disk yellowish white.   16 S. jiangchengensis
+ Leaves in whorls of 2-5; disk brownish purple   (23)
23 (22) Nutlet whitish when mature, 2.2-2.7 mm wide, scrobiculate to smooth.   17 S. scrobiculata
+ Nutlet at first whitish but brownish purple when mature, 1.7-2 mm wide, cancellate.   18 S. purpurascens

  • List of lower taxa


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