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Genus Fimbristylis Family Cyperaceae

Synonyms: Crosslandia APNI*

Description: Annuals, or perennial herbs with short rhizome. Culms usually tufted, ± angular or subterete, striate or grooved.

Leaves all basal, or also a few over the lower part of culms, occasionally reduced to short-bladed sheaths; ligule a fringe of hairs, or membranous, or absent; inflorescence terminal (very rarely pseudolateral), simple or compound, or head-like, or consisting of a single spikelet; involucral bracts usually leaf-like.

Spikelets solitary or in clusters, terete, angular, or strongly laterally compressed, few to many-flowered; rachilla usually persistent, often winged, rarely spikelets falling off as a whole. Glumes usually spirally arranged, rarely distichous, up to 6 lower ones empty.

Flowers bisexual. Hypogynous bristles absent. Stamens 1–3. Style 2- or 3-fid, with base usually thickened, deciduous, ciliate or glabrous. Nut trigonous or lenticular.

Photo L. von Richter



Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 300 species, cosmopolitan, tropical & warm-temp. regions. Australia: 85 species (c. 25 species endemic), all mainland States.

Text by K. L. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Style 3-fid; nuts trigonous2
Style 2-fid; nuts biconvex4
2Leaf blades very reduced; primary involucral bract glume-like, much shorter than inflorescenceFimbristylis vaginata
Leaf blades present, elongated; primary involucral bract leaf-like, from shorter than to longer than inflorescence
                       Back to 1
3Mature spikelets 3–4.5 mm diam., clustered; glumes spirally arrangedFimbristylis neilsonii
Mature spikelets 1–2 mm diam., solitary on ultimate branches; glumes more or less distichous
                       Back to 2
Fimbristylis cinnamometorum
4Nut with transverse wavy ridges; inflorescence of a single more or less nodding spikelet; leaves usually reduced to sheathsFimbristylis nutans
Nut not transversely ridged; inflorescence of 1–numerous spikelets (if one, then spikelet is erect); leaf blades present
                       Back to 1
5Leaves ligulate6
Leaves without ligule
                       Back to 4
6Nut distinctly longitudinally striate and transversely trabeculate7
Nut smooth, minutely reticulate, or tuberculate
                       Back to 5
7Spikelets less than 2 mm diam.; glumes less than 2 mm longFimbristylis bisumbellata
Spikelets more than 2 mm diam.; glumes more than 2 mm long
                       Back to 6
Fimbristylis dichotoma
8Glumes appressed pubescent to scaberulous on back, at least near apexFimbristylis ferruginea
Glumes glabrous on back
                       Back to 6
9Glumes more than 4 mm long; spikelets more than 3 mm diamFimbristylis tristachya
Glumes less than 2 mm long; spikelets less than 3 mm diam
                       Back to 8
Fimbristylis polytrichoides
10Base of style with long hairs covering nutFimbristylis velata
Base of style with short hairs
                       Back to 5
Fimbristylis aestivalis

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