Scleria sumatrensis Retz.
Retzius, A.J. (1788) Observationes Botanicae 5: 19. Type: E Sumatra adduxit Rev. D. Wennerberg.
Flowers and fruits as a plant about 1-2 m tall.
Leaf blades about 30-180 x 1-8 cm, margins scabrous and quite capable of cutting the skin. Leaves arranged in pseudowhorls of 3-5 on stems which are +/- triangular in transverse section.
Inflorescence subtended by leaf-like bracts (glumes) which become shorter close to the inflorescence. Lower bracts about 25-30 cm long, upper bracts about 5-7 cm long. Flowers in spikelets. Perianth reduced to a 3-lobed disc around the ovary. Stamens about 2 mm long. Style about 1 mm long, stigmas about 0.5 mm long.
Seed germination time 392 days. Cataphylls produced before the first pair of true leaves. Cataphylls with tubular sheaths encircling the stems. First pair of true leaves linear, venation longitudinal and parallel. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf base longitudinally striated, tubular, sheathing the stem. Leaf blade scabrous, margin minutely serrate, venation longitudinal and parallel. 'Stem' triangular in transverse section, leaves produced in 3 vertical rows. Leaf blade margin quite capable of cutting the skin of unwary collectors.