33. Cyperus cuspidatus Kunth, Nov. gen. et spec. 1: 204. 1815; C.B.Clarke, l.c. 598; R. R. Stewart, lc. 87; Kern, in Van Steenis, Fl. Males. 7,3: Fig. 59. 1974; Haines & Lye, Sedges and rushes E Afr.: fig. 508. 1983; Kukkonen in Rech.f., l.c. 129.
Annual, 4-12 cm, forming small tufts. Stem to 0.5 mm diam., obtusely trigonous, smooth. Leaves to as long as stems; sheaths up to 15 mm, yellowish or reddish brown, mouth margin slightly concave; ligule 0; blades up to 80 mm, less than 1 mm wide, margins inrolled, smooth, apex slightly scabrous. Inflorescence a small multiple spike, often reduced to a single cluster of spikes, up to 40 mm; primary branches 0-5, to 35 mm; lowest 2-3 bracts foliose, to 80 x 1.5 mm, spreading. Cluster of spikes 5-20 mm diam., with 4-20 digitately arranged spikes; spikes 2-12 x 2-3 mm, flat, with from 4 to more than 30 glumes; glume-like bract c. 1.5 mm, glume-like prophyll c. 1 mm, scarious, bi-nerved; rachis c. 0.2 mm wide, compressed, 4-angled, reddish brown or greenish, very narrowly winged, often re-branching at axil of prophyll; glumes 1.5-2 mm, truncate, 3-nerved, nerves prominent, ending in a reflexed arista, c. 0.5 mm, mid-nerve area green with some reddish dots, nerve-less sides wide, yellowish or reddish-brown. Stamens 3. Nut c. 0.5 mm, obovoid, trigonous, brown, papillose.
Fl. Per.: Oct.-December (Bhandari, l.c. 333. 1990).
Type: Venezuela?: "Crescit in ripa arenosa, sole exusta fluminis Orinoci prope Maypures, Atures et Carichana, ..".
Open moist sites, river beds, rice fields; Distribution: Pantropical; Africa S of Sahara to Namibia and Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, S and N America.
The description is based on N. Indian specimens, which rarely show such compact clusters of spikes as the plants of S India.