Syn. Pl. Glumac. 2: 25. 1855.
Herbs, perennial, cespitose, coarse, (culms, leaves, bracts, and rays viscid). Culms roundly trigonous, 10–50 cm × 0.9–2.4 mm. Leaves: adaxial face concave, becoming flat to trigonous apically, 10–46 cm × 1.5–4 mm, margins involute. Inflorescences: spikes ovoid, 1–5.5 cm wide; rays usually 3–6, 0.5–5 cm, glabrous; sometimes absent in small plants; if absent, inflorescence a congested head of spikelets 1–3.5 cm diam.; 2d order rays 0–3, 1–3 cm; bracts 3–5, vertical to ascending at 45°, 2.5–25 cm × 1.2–4 mm, margins involute; 2d order bracts 0–2, 5–20 mm; rachilla persistent, wingless. Spikelets 5–24, greenish yellow to golden brown, oblong to linear-lanceoloid, quadrangular, strongly compressed, 7–20(–30) × 2.5–4(–6) mm; floral scales 10–20(–40), spreading, pale green to stramineous, laterally 2–3-ribbed, ovate-lanceolate, 3.1–4 × 1.5–2.4 mm, apex with mucro 0.2–0.8 mm. Flowers: anthers 0.6–0.8 mm; styles 0.8–1.6 mm; stigmas 1–1.4 mm. Achenes light to dark brown, rarely somewhat reddish, stipitate, ellipsoid, 2–2.4 × 0.5–0.8 mm, base cuneate, stipe whitish, spongy, 0.2–0.3 × 0.2–0.4 mm, apex acute, persistent style forming beak 0.5–1.2 mm, surfaces glabrous or finely papillose.
Phenology: Fruiting summer.
Habitat: Ditches and disturbed places in marshes, often in saline soil
Elevation: 0–100 m
Introduced; Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C., Tex., Mexico, South America.
Cyperus oxylepis is easily recognized by its sticky leaves, culms, and bracts (in living plants), involute leaves,and golden brown spikelets. The ovate-lanceolate floral scales and the ellipsoid, brownish achene with a persistent beak distinguish C. oxylepis from other species with deciduous floral scales.