Description: Perennials, often with creeping rhizomes. Culms erect, hollow, trigonous to terete, noded, leafy throughout their length.
Leaves with long tubular sheaths and flat, dorsiventrally compressed blade; ligule absent.
Inflorescence panicle-like, consisting of several remote partial inflorescences; branches solitary or in pairs in the axils of leaf-like bracts; involucral bracts long, leaf-like. Spikelets very numerous, in numerous head-like clusters, terete, 2- (or 3-)flowered, both flowers bisexual or one of them (the lower or the upper one) male or functionally male; rachilla persistent, straight, with very short internodes. Glumes spirally arranged, the lowest 3 or 4 empty, shorter; usually no terminal empty glume. Hypogynous disk present, often inconspicuous. Stamens 2 (sometimes 3). Style mostly 3-fid, sometimes 2- or 4–6-fid, continuous with ovary; style base thickened, conical, persistent on nut and fused with it, glabrous.
Nut obtusely trigonous to terete, truncate at base, on a small saucer-shaped disk.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 4 species, tropical & temperate regions. Australia: 1 species (native).
Text by K. L. Wilson
|One species in NSW: Cladium procerum|