Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cyperus javanicus Houtt.

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Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Houttuyn, M. (1782) Natuurlyke Historie of Uitvoerige Beschryving der Dieren, Planten en Mineraalen Pt. II, 13 : [v], 68, t. 88, fig. 1. Type: not cited.


Tufted perennial with short rhizomes. Culms obtusely trigonous, densely papillose, 40-120 cm tall.


Leaves long and folded on base, flat above, 2-13 mm wide, septate-nodulose.


Inflorescences 1 or more times compound, with 6-12 primary rays each up to 8 cm long; involucral bracts 4-6, much longer than inflorescence; spikes broadly cylindrical, 1.5-2 x 1-1.5 cm; spikelets oblong-ovate, acute, 5-10 x 2-2.5 mm, 6-10 -flowered; rachilla broadly winged; glumes broadly ovate-elliptic, 2.5-3.5 mm long,with brown striped sides.


Nut dark brown to black, ellipsoid-obovoid, trigonous, 1.2-1.5 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ, and southwards to south eastern Queensland.  Altitudinal range from near sea level to 550 m. Grows in rainforest, gallery forest, sclerophyll and mesophyll vine thickets, swampy areas in various types of woodland and in dune scrub.

Mariscus javanicus (Houtt.) Merr. & F.P.Metcalf, Lingnan Science Journal 21: 4(1945).
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