9. Eleocharis atropurpurea (Retz.) K. Presl, Rel. Haenk. 1: 196. 1828; C. B. Clarke in Hook.f., l.c. 627; R.R.Stewart, l.c. 93; Kukkonen in Rech.f, l.c. 68.
Scirpus atropurpureus Retz., Obs. Pl. 5: 14. 1789; E. lereschii Shuttlew., Flora 16: 241. 1837; Reichenb., Icon. Fl. Germ.8: Pl. 295, fig. 699. 1846. Blake in Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 50: Pl. 10, figs. 32-33. 1939.
Annual, 2-15 cm, forming small tufts. Roots fibrous. Stem 0.3-0.5 mm diam., with 5-6 obtuse angles separated by deep grooves. Lower closed sheath 3-5 mm, brown or reddish, upper to 10 mm, green or grey green, base often reddish, with 5-6 green nerves, mouth oblique; blades 0 or tip c. 1 mm. Spike 2-7 x 1-3 mm, ovoid or globose, with c. 30 or more glumes in five spiral rows, all fertile; basal glume not distinct or slightly larger and with more pronounced mid-nerve than in other glumes; glumes 1.1-1.6 mm, cymbiform, with prominent, green mid-nerve not quite reaching obtuse apex, sides brown or dark reddish brown, nerves obscure or missing, margins more or less scarious. Perianth bristles rising from white collar, 4-7 or 0, to as long as nut, white or pale brownish; stamens 1-2, anthers 0.3-0.5 mm. Nut 0.6-0.8 x 0.5-0.6 mm, obovoid, bi-convex, apex rounded, basal part gradually tapering, obscurely or finely reticulate, finally black, glossy; stylopodium much wider than long, c. 0.1 x 0.3 mm, white, clearly constricted from nut.
Fl. Per.: September - October.
Type: "In humidiusculis uliginosis Indiae crescit. D. König.".
Rice fields, wet meadows, c. 500-900 m; Distribution: Pantropical and extending into S Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, China, Japan; tropical Africa, Madagascar, India, Malaysia, Australia, N and S America.