Cyperaceae

Cyperaceae is a very diverse and successful family, commonly known as sedges. There are about 100 genera and some 5000 species worldwide, occurring in a variety of habitats. They superficially resemble grasses and rushes, distinguished by their triangular stems. As the old botanic poem goes, "Sedges have edges, rushes are round, and grasses have nodes that go down to the ground". Root systems can be rhizomatous, stoloniferous or neither. Plants are either monoecious or dioecious. In many places they are weedy due to some species' ability to colonize disturbed grounds, while in other places such as in threatened ecosystems such as those of Hawai'i, the Cape Verde Islands and the California Floristic province, many members of this family are critically endangered. Some members of this family serve as food crop (water chestnut, Eleocharis dulcis), others serve as ornamental plants (like Carex), and others (Cyperus papyrus) were essential for paper making by ancient Egyptians.

We have the genus Cyperus represented on the wiki


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Page last modified on January 15, 2011, at 01:30 PM