An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions/Cyperaceae
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J. St. Hil.
Expos. Fam. 1: 62.
Grass-like or rush-like herbs. Stems (culms) slender, solid (rarely hollow), triangular, quadrangular, terete or flattened. Roots fibrous (many species perennial by long rootstocks). Leaves usually with closed sheaths. Flowers perfect or imperfect, arranged in spikelets, one (rarely 2) in the axil of each scale (glume, bract), the spikelets solitary or clustered, i-many-flowered. Scales 2-ranked or spirally imbricated, persistent or deciduous. Perianth hypogynous, composed of bristles, or interior scales, rarely calyx-like, or entirely wanting. Stamens 1-3, rarely more. Filaments slender or filiform. Anthers 2-celled. Ovary 1-celled, sessile or stipitate. Ovule 1, anatropous, erect. Style 2-3-cleft or rarely simple or minutely 2-toothed. Fruit an achene. Endosperm mealy. Embryo minute.
About 75 genera and 3200 species, widely distributed. The dates give time of perfecting fruit.