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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Cyperaceae

20. Lipocarpha R. Brown in Tuckey, Narr. Exped. Zaire. 459. 1818.

湖瓜草属 hu gua cao shu

Authors: Lun-Kai Dai & Gordon C. Tucker

Herbs, annual or perennial. Leaves basal; leaf blade flat. Involucral bracts leaflike. Spikes 2-7, fascicled into a capitulum or rarely single, with many bractlets and spikelets; bractlets spirally arranged, each with a spikelet. Spikelet with 2 glumes (sometimes absent) and a bisexual flower; rachilla very short, articulate at base, deciduous at article when mature; glumes alternate, membranous, several veined; basal glume without a flower; apical glume with a bisexual flower. Perianth bristles absent. Stamens 2. Stigmas 2. Nutlet 3-sided, biconvex, or plano-convex, included by subtending glume.

About 35 species: warm temperate and subtropical regions; four species in China.

1 Leaf blade 2-4 mm wide; spikes (3 or)4-7-fascicled at culm apex; bractlet apex subtruncate, acuminate; nutlet biconvex.   1 L. chinensis
+ Leaf blade 1-2 mm wide; spikes 2- or 3(or 4)-fascicled at culm apex; bractlet apex abruptly contracted and forming a recurved mucro; nutlet 3-sided to plano-convex   (2)
2 (1) Bractlets blackish purple but mucro green; spikes 4-7 mm; nutlet blackish purple, narrowly ovoid.   4 L. tenera
+ Bractlets greenish with reddish brown striae; spikes 2-5 mm; nutlet straw-colored, narrowly oblong   (3)
3 (2) Culms 5-40 cm; nutlet 0.9-1 mm, subtended by 2 glumes.   2 L. microcephala
+ Culms 5-30 cm; nutlet 0.5-0.6 mm, subtended only by a squarrose bract.   3 L. squarrosa

Lower Taxa


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