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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa to N. Botswana.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FWTA]

Cyperaceae, Miss S. S. Hooper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

Morphology General Habit
Semi-aquatic annual with numerous slender stems
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Very small elliptical spikelets
Ecology
Flooded savanna.

[FTEA]

Cyperaceae, K Hoenselaar, B. Verdcourt & H. Beentje. Hypolytrum, D Simpson. Fuirena, M Muasya. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2010

Type
Type: Zimbabwe, ‘Salisbury District’, Brain 8963 (K!, holo.; G, fragm. iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Dwarf annual.
Morphology Culms
Culms tufted, 1–5(–13) cm tall, filiform or obscurely 3-angular, 0.1–0.2 mm thick.
Morphology Leaves Leaf sheaths
Sheaths 2 above the prophyll, reddish or purple near base, ending in a short triangular lobe.
Morphology Roots
Roots white, slender
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelet ovoid, 1–2 × 0.5–1 mm, of 4–5 fertile glumes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes uncoloured (the basal one) to dark reddish brown with paler margin and midrib, 1–1.5 mm long, obtuse at apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth absent or of few minute bristles
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamen 1
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style 3-branched
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlet greyish white, urn-shaped, 0.5–0.6 × 0.4–0.5 mm, 3-ribbed and with rounded pits in rows; appendage grey-brown, lowpyramidal or only a rim.
Ecology
Swampy grassland, rock pools, lake shores, often half- or entirely submerged; 950–1450 m
Note
" Eleocharis retroflexa (Poir.) Urban subsp. chaetaria (Roem. & Schult.) Koyama is cited by Haines & Lye as occurring in Western Tanzania, 1200–1500 m, “similar to E. brainii and E. setifolia, differs in well-developed bristles and different nutlet; when it produces decumbent culms and viviparous spikelets it is different from all other Eleocharis!”. This has acute glumes, and so differs from everything else. I have not seen any specimens, and Haines & Lye do not cite any either. Svenson determined a specimen marked E. chaetaria from Sudan ( Schweinfurth 2583) es E. brainii, so it is possible Eleocharis chaetaria Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg., ed. 15 bis 2: 154 (1817) is a synonym, or even the proper name. A problem is that for this taxon no type is mentioned, just “in humid grassy places of Calcutta”.
Distribution
Range: Ghana, Nigeria, Congo-Kinshasa, Sudan, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana Flora districts: U4 T4 T5 T7 T8

Native to:

Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Eleocharis brainii Svenson appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Milne-Redhead, E. [9848], Tanzania 23618.000
Brain, C.K. [8963], Zimbabwe K000416647 Unknown type material
Brain, C.K. [8963], Zimbabwe K000416648

First published in Rhodora 39: 251 (1937)

Accepted by

  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. & Simpson, D.A. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Sedges: 1-765. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • J. & A. Raynal in Adansonia sér. 2, 7: 318 (1967).
  • in Rhodora 39: 251, t. 461, fig. 4 (1937)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Browning, J. & al. (2020). Flora Zambesiaca 14: 1-455. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-466.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Rhodora 39: 251 (1937)
  • Sedges & Rushes E. Afr.: 74, fig. 112, 113 (1983).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0