38. Cyperus distans Linnaeus f., Suppl. Pl. 103. 1782.
疏穗莎草 shu sui suo cao
Perennials. Rhizomes short, surculose. Culms 35-110 cm tall, slightly stout, compressed triquetrous, smooth, base slightly swollen. Leaves shorter than or equaling culm; sheath brown, long; leaf blade 4-6 mm wide, flat or slightly folded, margin scabrid. Involucral bracts 4-6, leaflike, basal 2 or 3 longer than inflorescence, remaining ones shorter than inflorescence. Inflorescence a compound or decompound anthela; rays 6-10, to 15 cm, each with 3-5 raylets; raylets to 7 cm, ± thin. Spikes broadly ovoid, with 8-18 spikelets. Spikelets laxly distichous, linear, 0.8-4 cm × less than 1 mm, subterete, oblique to spreading, 6-32-flowered; rachilla thin, flexuose, wings white, hyaline, caducous. Glumes dark blood-red on both surfaces, lax, elliptic, ca. 2 mm, membranous, 3-5-veined, keel green, margin apically white hyaline, apex rounded. Stamens 3; anthers linear; connective prominent beyond anthers. Style short; stigmas 3. Nutlet blackish brown, oblong, ca. 2/3 as long as subtending glume, 3-sided, slightly prominently punctate. Fl. and fr. Jul-Aug.
Forests, swamps, grasslands, slightly dry or wet places on slopes, river margins, along trails; near sea level to 1800 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Xisha Qundao, Yunnan [Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Kashmir, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Africa and Australia, Central, North, and South America, Indian Ocean islands, Madagascar].