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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 46. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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3. Cyperus compressus L. (coco grass)

Pl. 67 h–j; Map 247

Plants annual, tufted, lacking rhizomes and tubers. Aerial stems 5–35 cm long, sharply trigonous, smooth. Leaf blades 3–20 cm long, 1.5–3.0 mm wide (often folded longitudinally and thus appearing narrower), shorter than the stems. Inflorescences a single spike or sometimes irregularly compound umbels with 1 sessile spike and 1–4 rays, each ray smooth, with a spike at the tip. Inflorescence bracts 3–5, mostly longer than the rays, spreading to ascending. Spikes 20–35 mm long, with 3–12 spikelets, hemispherical to broadly ovate in outline, headlike, flattened, open, the spikelets spreading palmately from near the tip of the axis, the spikelet bases visible. Spikelets 8–25 mm long, linear to narrowly elliptic, pointed at the tip, strongly flattened in cross-section, with 10–35 florets, the fruits and scales shed successively from the base to the tip, leaving the persistent axis. Spikelet axis not winged. Spikelet scales 2.5–3.5 mm long, strongly overlapping, appressed or ascending, broadly ovate, sharply angled along the back, tapered and sharply pointed at the tip, straight, with 7–11 nerves, green to pale green, the margins tan to nearly white, the midrib green. Stamens 3, the anthers 0.6–0.7 mm long. Stigmas 3. Fruits 1.0–1.4 mm long, obovate in outline, 3-angled in cross-section, the surface finely pebbled to nearly smooth, dark brown, shiny. 2n=96, 98, 114, 128. August–October.

Possibly introduced; uncommon in the Mississippi Lowlands (nearly worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate regions; in the U.S. mostly in the southeastern states west to Missouri and Texas; introduced locally further northward). Crop fields, horticultural plantings, and moist, open ground.

Although the Bootheel occurrences of this weedy species are more or less contiguous with those in the southeastern states, none appears to represent plants from a native habitat. Thus, there is reason to believe that the species may be nonnative in Missouri.



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