Cyperus melanostachyus


in A. von Humboldt et al., Nov. Gen. Sp. 1(fol.): 167.


1(qto.): 207. 1816.

Synonyms: Cyperus diandrus var. castaneus S. Watson Cyperus niger var. castaneus (S. Watson) Kükenthal
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23. Mentioned on page 161.
(Redirected from Cyperus niger)

Herbs, perennial, rhizomatous. Culms solitary or close together, trigonous, 5–40(–95) cm, glabrous. Leaves (2–)3–7, broadly V-shaped, 3–20(–30) cm × 1.5–3 mm. Inflorescences: spikes loosely to densely ovoid to hemispheric, 7–16 mm diam.; rachis 1–2 mm, or absent; rays 1–2, 3–45 mm; if rays absent, inflorescence sessile, dense, 6–20 mm diam; bracts 2–3, horizontal to reflexed downward, broadly V-shaped, 1–15 cm × 1–3 mm. Spikelets (3–)5–25(–60), linear to oblong-linear, (3–)5–9 × 1.8–2.3 mm; floral scales 4–18, closely imbricate, chestnut brown, black, or brown, medially green or greenish brown, laterally ribless, medially 2(–3)-ribbed, distinctly 2-keeled basally, ovate to orbiculate, 1.5–2.1 × 1.4–2.2 mm, apex obtuse. Flowers: stamens 2; anthers 0.6–0.8 mm, connectives not prolonged; styles 0.4–0.6 mm; stigmas 0.7–2.1 mm. Achenes brown, ellipsoid, 1.2–1.4 × 0.6–0.8 mm, network of ridges forming isodiametric or square cells, slightly stipitate, apex apiculate, surfaces minutely punctate.

Phenology: Fruiting summer.
Habitat: Swamps, ditches, wet pastures, seeps in montane forests
Elevation: 0–1200 m


V23 254-distribution-map.jpg

Ariz., Calif., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Mexico, Central America, South America.


Six varieties (var. niger, var. castaneus, var. robustus, var. lorentizianus, var. intricatoramosus, and var. pseudoelegantulus) were recognized by G. Kükenthal (1935–1936) under the illegitimate name Cyperus niger Ruiz & Pavon (1798), not Salisbury (1796). Based on field observations and measurements of hundreds of collections from Mexico, where the species is most plentiful, it does not seem possible to recognize any of the infraspecific taxa (G. C. Tucker 1983, 1994; G. C. Tucker and R. McVaugh 1993).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Cyperus melanostachyus"
Gordon C. Tucker* +, Brian G. Marcks* +  and J. Richard Carter * +
Undefined subg. Pycreus +
Ariz. +, Calif. +, N.Mex. +, Okla. +, Tex. +, Mexico +, Central America +  and South America. +
0–1200 m +
Swamps, ditches, wet pastures, seeps in montane forests +
Fruiting summer. +
in A. von Humboldt et al., Nov. Gen. Sp. +
Illustrated +
Cyperus diandrus var. castaneus +  and Cyperus niger var. castaneus +
Cyperus melanostachyus +
Cyperus subg. Pycreus +
species +