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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Cyperaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Cyperaceae (from the genus Cyperus, the ancient Greek name). Sedge Family. Fig. 9. Herbaceous plants with grass-like habit and solid stems: leaves alternate, in 3, rarely 2, vertical rows, linear; sheaths closed: flowers bisexual or unisexual, regular, hypogynous, borne in variously disposed spikelets, subtended and hidden by overlapping scales none of which are regularly empty as in the grasses; no true palets; perianth reduced to bristles, scales, or 0; stamens 2-3; carpels 2-3; ovary 1-celled, 1-ovuled; style 1; stigmas 2-3: fruit an achene; seeds basal, anatropous, albuminous.

There are 65 genera and about 3,000 species, inhabiting the whole earth. More than 500 species belong to the genus Carex. 400 to Cyperus, and 200 to Scirpus. They are abundant in swampy regions. The family is closely related to the Gramineae, from which it differs in the often 3-ranked leaves, solid stem, the absence of palets and of regular empty glumes, and the presence, in most cases, of a perianth and 3 carpels. Most divergent from the ordinary is Carex, the flowers of which are monoecious, and the pistillate, though naked, are inclosed in a flask-shaped structure called a perigynium, which probably corresponds to the modified palet of the grass spikelet. The elongated perianth forms the wool of the wool-grass or cotton-grass. The scales of the spikelet are in 2 ranks in Cyperus and Dulichium; in many ranks in the other genera.

The Cyperaceae are of far less economic importance than the Gramineae. The rhizomes of several species of Carex were formerly used as a remedy in syphilis. Scirpus lacustris is astringent and diuretic, but other species also possess this property. The foliage of Eriophorum has been used for dysentery. The spongy pith of the Eriophorum stem was used by German peasants for tapeworm. The tubers of Cyperus esculentus, now a weed in all countries, were cultivated by the Egyptians for food. The leaves of many species of Cyperaceae have been woven into mats, chair-bottoms, and the like. The Egyptians made parchment from the pith of Cyperus Papyrus. The rhizomes of Eleocharis tuberosa are used in the manufacture of starch, in China and India. Cyperus scariosus and C. pertenuis, of India, are fragrant and used in making perfumery. Some carices are used in making rugs.

Several genera are in cultivation in America, mostly for water-gardens, table decorations, and the conservatory: Carex (Sedge); Cyperus (Umbrella Palm, Egyptian Paper Plant, Egyptian Papyrus, Chufa); Dulichium; Eleocharis; Eriophorum (Cotton-Grass, Wool-Grass); Mapania; Scirpus (Bulrush Sedge).CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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