30. Cyperus tenuispica Steud., Syn. Pl. Cyperac. 11. 1855; Kukkonen in Rech.f., l.c. 125; Kükenthal, in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV.20, 101: fig. 28, A-D. 1936; R.R.Stewart, l.c. 92; Kern, in Van Steenis, Flora Malesiana 7,3: Fig. 58. 1974; Haines & Lye, Sedges and Rushes East Afr.: figs. 313-314. 1983.
Annual, 10-15 cm, forming small tufts. Stem 0.5-1.3 mm diam., 3-5-angular, smooth. Leaves shorter than stem, soon withering; sheaths green or red, soft, lower blade-less, mouth oblique or, when leaf blade present, rather straight; ligule 0; blades up to 60 mm, 1-2 mm wide, yellow-green, flat or folded, soft, rather acute, margins and keel smooth, apex barbed. Inflorescence a compound anthelodium, 20-70 mm; bracts few, one or two foliose, up to more than 10 cm; primary branches c. 10, up to 70 mm; secondary anthelodium 10-20 mm, almost spherical, secondary branches 5-15 mm; cluster of spikes at the tip of all of the secondary branches, with 2-10 sessile spikes; spikes 2-8 x c. 1 mm, compressed, with 10-30 glumes; glume-like bract c. 0.8 mm, cymbiform, glume-like prophyll clasping, c. 0.6 mm, scarious, sterile; rachis 4-angled, c. 0.4 mm wide, green or reddish, internodes c. 0.5 mm, hardly winged; glumes c. 1 mm, closely imbricate, cymbiform, recurving, obtuse, mid-nerve area green, slightly keeled near the apex, sides reddish brown, margins narrowly scarious. Stamens 1 or 2, connective tip smooth. Nut 0.4-0.5 mm, almost spherical to obovoid, obtusely trigonous, white or yellowish, papillose or tuberculate.
Fl. Per.: September - December.
Type: Hohenacker, Pl. Ind. Or. 1670 (in protologue "1607"), "Prope urbem Mangalor", Isotypes (B!,H!).
Reported from Kashmir (as C. flavidus) by Clarke (l.c.) and Kükenthal (l.c.).
Marshlands, river banks, weed in rice fields; Distribution: Tropical Africa, E. Africa, Kashmir, India, from Tadjikistan and Himalayas to Sri Lanka and eastwards.
Frequently mixed with C. haspan, but glumes of C. haspan are longer and straight and the nuts smoother than those of C.tenuispica.