Grundblütige sedge ( Carex Halleriana )

Sedge family ( Cyperaceae ), also known as sedge plants or sedges, are a family in the order of Süßgrasartigen ( Poales ) with about 98-109 genera and about 5500 species. It is distributed worldwide. It is grassy, mostly perennial, partly lawn and clump forming or creeping rhizomes with species. To distinguish them from the true grasses: Your more or less triangular stems are myelinated and have no raised nodes.

As Sedges are in the German language commonly more species from different families such as Rushes ( Juncaceae ), called Trident plants ( Juncaginaceae ) and flowers Rushes ( Scheuchzeriaceae ). Strictly speaking, however, are meant by the term refers solely to the species of the family Cyperaceae.


Sedge plants are mostly herbaceous plants with grass -like habit. There may be rhizomes. The stem is solid or pithy, not hollow, often triangular and the more nodes are never nodular thickened, as in the family Poaceae. The usually alternate and often three lines on the stem arranged leaves are parallel-veined and grassy narrow, closed or rarely open leaf sheaths.

The flowers are too many to individually into spikelets. The spikelets are arranged individually or collectively in aged men, paniculate or capitate inflorescences total. The bracts are leaf-like foliage.

The flowers are wind-pollinated plants as usual, inconspicuous and either hermaphroditic ( Schoenoplectus, Scirpus, Eleocharis, Eriophorum ) or unisexual. If the flowers are unisexual, the plants then mostly monoecious ( monoecious ) or dioecious ( dioecious ) are getrenntgeschlechtig. The blooms are triple and radial symmetry. The zero to six bracts are reduced to bristles, hair or dandruff. There are usually only three ( rarely two or one ) free, fertile stamens present. The pollen grains are pseudomonad ( = Kryptotetrade ), that is, first, they contain four cores, of which three degenerate so that only a pollen grain from a pollen mother cell develops. Two or three carpels are a top permanent, einfächerigen ovary grown with a basal ovule. There are one, two or three stigma lobes present.

The single-seeded nut fruit, a caryopsis is biconvex or triangular.

Dissemination and locations

The focus of its distribution is in temperate to subarctic region of both Erdhemisphären ( northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere ).

Sedge plants grow mainly in wet locations such as in marshes, wetlands and wet meadows, marshes, shores or in siltation zones of water. They are also found in alder swamps. But some species are also found in drier habitats such as dry grasslands on sand dunes, dry forests, alpine scree or rock crevices.

In addition to a wide variety of humidity preferences of the species, they also show different claims regarding the lime content of their stature places. It clearly outweigh those species growing on lime-free, usually acidic soils. Hence the name.

Genera of the Sedge plants with representatives in Central Europe:

  • Source rushes ( Blysmus )
  • Beach ledges ( Bolboschoenus )
  • Sedges ( Carex )
  • Cutting ( Cladium )
  • Zypergräser ( Cyperus )
  • Bulrushes ( Eleocharis )
  • Cotton Grass ( Eriophorum )
  • Marsh bulrush ( Isolepis )
  • Nackt-/Schuppenried ( Kobresia )
  • Schnabel Riede ( Rhynchospora )
  • Head Ried ( Schoenus )
  • Bulrushes ( Schoenoplectus )
  • Texting ( Scirpus )
  • Lawn rushes ( Trichophorum )


The first publication of the family took place in 1789 under the name Cyperoideae by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in Genera Plantarum, 26 type genus is Cyperus L. Sedge family ( Cyperaceae ) and Rushes ( Juncaceae ) were once a common systematic order ( Juncanae ) grouped together because they are interrelated closer are used as the grasses ( Poaceae ). They made so far the only plant family of the order Sauer Grassy ( Cyperales ). New molecular tests they provide, however, to the order of Süßgrasartigen ( Poales ). Within the order of Poales the Cyperaceae are a sister group of the Juncaceae. A synonym for Cyperaceae Juss. is Kobresiaceae Gilly.

The Cyperaceae family contains about (98 to ) 109 genera and about 5500 species. About 35 % of the genera are monotypic, 26 % contained only two to five species, but seven or 6% of the genera contain more than 200 species, the two most species-rich genera Cyperus with 686 species and Carex with about 1757 species.

The Sedge family ( Cyperaceae ) family is divided into two (formerly in four to five) subfamilies and 14 tribes ( Simpson et al 2006. )

  • Subfamily Mapanioideae: With two tribes, (six to ) about 13 genera and about 140 species: Tribus Chrysitricheae: They are found only in the southern hemisphere. With four genera: Chrysitrix L.: With about four species in South Africa
  • Chorizandra R.Br.: With five species in Australia
  • Hellmuthia Steud. With only one way in South Africa (Cape ): Hellmuthia membranous ( Thunb. ) R. W. Haines & Lye
  • Lepironia articulata ( Retz. ) Domin
  • Capitularina J. Kern: With only one way in Papua Sien: Capitularina involucrata ( J. V. Suringar ) J. Kern
  • Diplasia karatifolia Rich. ex Pers.
  • Principina grandis Uittien
  • Tribus Abildgaardieae: With approximately eight genera: Abildgaardia Vahl ( also asked to Fimbristylis )
  • Actinoschoenus Benth. With a kind in Madagascar, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China and Australia and a kind in Zambia
  • Arthrostylis R. Br: with only one way in tropical Australia: Arthrostylis aphylla R.Br.
  • Crosslandia setifolia W. Fitzg.
  • Trachystylis stradbrokensis ( Domin ) Kuek.
  • Becquerelia Brogn. With about eight species in tropical South America
  • Calyptrocarya Nees: With about eight species in tropical America
  • Diplacrum R. Br: With about nine species
  • Carex: With about 1757 species.
  • Cymophyllus Mackenzie ex Britton & A. Brown: With only one kind in the United States ( Appalachians ): Cymophyllus fraserianus ( Ker Gawl. ) Kartesz & Gandhi
  • Didymiandrum Gilly: With up to three species from tropical South America (but also provided to Everardia or Lagenocarpus )
  • Exochogyne C.B. Clarke: With up to four species from tropical South America (but also to Lagenocarpus provided)
  • Tribus Dulichieae: Blysmus tanks ex Schultes: With about three species in the temperate zone of Eurasia and North Africa
  • Dulichium pers. With only one way in North America: Dulichium arundinaceum (L.) Britton
  • Chillania Roiv. With only one way in Chile: Chillania pusilla Roiv.
  • Actinoscirpus ( Ohwi ) R. W. Haines & Lye: with only one kind to Japan and Australia occurs from India and Indochina: Actinoscirpus grossus ( L. f ) Goetgh. & D. A. Simpson
  • Pleurostachys Brogn. With about 33 species in South America
  • Rhynchospora Vahl: With approximately 300 species
  • Amphiscirpus Oteng - Yeb. With only one way in Canada, USA, Argentina and Chile: Amphiscirpus nevadensis ( S. Watson ) Oteng - Yeb.
  • Scleria P. Bergius: With about 263 species
  • Coleochloa Gilly: With about seven species in Africa and Madagascar
  • Microdracoides Hua: With only one way in tropical Africa: Microdracoides squamosus Hua

History of Research

The leading Cyperaceae researcher of the 19th century was the pharmacist and botanist Johann Otto Boeckeler ( born August 12, 1803 in Hannover, † March 5, 1899 in Varel / Oldb. ).


  • The Cyperaceae in APWebsite family. ( Section systematics)
  • The Cyperaceae at DELTA of L.Watson and MJDallwitz family. ( Description section )
  • Lun - Kai Dai, Prof. Song - Yun Liang, Shuren Zhang, Tang Yancheng, Tetsuo Koyama, Gordon C. Tucker, David A. Simpson, Henry J. Noltie, Mark T. Strong, Jeremy J. Bruhl, Karen L. Wilson & A. Muthama Muasya: Cyperaceae in the Flora of China, Volume 23, 2010, p 164: online. (Section Description and systematics)
  • Peter W. Ball, AA Reznicek & David F. Murray: Cyperaceae in the Flora of North America, Volume 23, 2002, page 3: Online. ( Description section )
  • I. Kukkonen: Cyperaceae in the Flora of Pakistan: Online. ( Description section )