Guide to plants of northern and east-central Mali

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note: Dogon and other Malians tend to lump many spp. into a single 'sedge' term (with optional subdivisions, often by color)
subfamilies (mainly based on Goetghebeur classification)

note: molecular studies suggest binary division: Mapanioiedeae vs. Cyperoideae

1. Mapanioideae

2. Caricoideae

3. Sclerioideae (flowers unisexual; about 14 genera)


Sclereae (glumellae absent, spikelets mostly bisexual, usually 3 stamens)


Trilepideae (glumellae 3, small ciliate & membranous, opp sides of fruit, spikelets unisexual or bisexual, glumes distichously arranged)


others: Bisboeckelereae, Cryptangiae, Koyamaeae

4. Cyperoideae = Rhynchosporoideae (flowers, at least some, bisexual, very rarely unisexual)



Cyperus (broad sense:)

Cyperus (narrow sense)









(Scirpeae and related groups:)

Fimbristylideae (related to Scirpeae)


Abildgaardeae (related to Scirpeae)



Eleocharideae (related to Scirpeae)






others: Arthrostylideae, Dulichieae, Ficineae, Lipocarpheae

stem cross-sections

triquetrous (triangular cross-section with sharp angles)

trigonous (triangular, not necessarily with sharp angles)

cylindrical: Cyperus articulatus; Eleocharis dulcis; Schoenoplectus spp.

inflorescence type

simple pseudo-umbel (s.t. called anthela): central axis with terminal spikelet and several other spikelets on closely spaced short branches each with an axillary bract, the length of the branches and bracts diminishing toward the apex to give the appearance of an umbel, the lowest bracts are leaf-like and appear to form a kind of involucrum

composite pseudo-umbel (some Cyperus)

fascicle of sessile spikelets (closely bunched at base)

spike of sessile spikelets (spaced out on stem)


panicle (Afrotrilepis)
very tall sedges: about 75 to 200 cm

stem with triangular cross-section

Bolboschoenus maritimus (30-120 cm, sharp edges, swamps)

Cyperus alopecuroides (50-150 cm, base of stem thick to 2.5 cm, tolerates sand)

Cyperus digitatus subsp. auricomus (50-160 cm, sharp edges or winged, swamps)

Pycreus macrostachyos var. macrostachyos (25-80 cm, annual, near water)

stem with cylindrical cross-section

Cyperus articulatus (80-150 cm, segmented hollow stem, nearly leafless, aromatic tubers)

Schoenoplectus corymbosus (50-200 cm, stem hollow, permanent swamps beside water)



Afritrilepis pilosa 50230

records: Bamako, Sibi (Boudet); KikE, Walo (JH)

habitat: granite (Boudet); the typical sedge of inselberg summits in northern Dogon country (JH)

notes: clumpy perennial plant 40-60 cm, with rhizome; stem triquetrous (triangular cross-section with sharp angles), leaves near base only; multiple lax panicles on each stem (one terminal), pseudo-verticillate; partial inflorescences pale brown or red-brown

Scleria (several other spp. recorded for southern Mali)

Scleria tessellata

records: Kita, Koulikoro, Niono (Boudet)

habitat: swamps

notes: usually annual, in large clump, reddish roots, erect or oblique stems 20-40 cm, triquetrous (triangular); leaves 15-20 cm x 2-6 mm, hairy or at least with margins and central nerve ciliate; terminal panicle plus 1-3 lateral panicles off stem, the latter with long leafy bracts

Abildgaardeae (low clumpy plants, leaves at base only)

Abildgaardia (close to Bulbostylis)

Abildgaardia coleotricha (syns Bulbostylis coleotricha var. miegei, B. miegei)

records: Koulikoro, Bamako, Segou, San (laterites) (Boudet)

habitat: wet depressions on rocks, sandy meadows

notes: annual, clumpy, many thin stems 10-25 cm; stems fluted (grooved) with sharp edges that are lighter-colored than rest of stem; lax umbel-like inflorescence

Abildgaardia hispidula (subsp. senegalensis and others) 50230 (syn Fimbristylis hispidula)

records: Bamako, Timbuktu, Gao (Boudet)

habitat: seasonal swamps, weed in fields, usually on sand

notes: annual or perennial, clumpy; erect stems 10-40 cm, angular, often pubescent; short leaves at base to 10 cm long with pale green or yellow sheath; simple or composite pseudo-umbel; spikelets streaked with light and dark brown and with green

Abildgaardia wallichiana 50229 (syn Bulbostylis barbata)

records: Segou, Macina, Bore, Gao (Boudet [B. barbata]); Walo, Beni (JH)

habitat: sand

notes: annual, dense clump, numerous very thin stems 5-15 cm, fluted; short setaceous (bristly) leaves 1-5 cm , light green or light brown inflorescence in terminal fascicle

Bolboschoenus (s.t. considered to be a section of Scirpus)

Bolboschoenus maritimus 50231 (syn Scirpus maritimus)

records: Dire, Gao, Niafounke (Boudet); Walo (JH)

habitat: swamps

notes: perennial to 30-120 cm, stem trigonous with sharp edges; leaf 20-30 cm long; lower leaves often with brown or brown-black sheath; umbel-like inflorescence; spikelets more or less dark brown

Bulbostylis (close to Abildgaardia)

Bulbostylis barbata (see Abildgaardia wallichiana)

Bulbostylis cioniana (syn Fimbristylis cioniana)

records: Segou, San, lac Debo, Bamako, Ansongo, Sotuba (Boudet)

habitat: sandy riversides, sandy meadows

notes: annual, dense clump, stems 10-20 cm, filiform leaves; umbel-like inflorescence; glumes rust-colored or straw-yellow

Bulbostylis coleotricha (see Abildgaardia coleotricha)

Cyperus alopecuroides

records: Dire, Gao, Niono (Boudet)

habitat: in or at edge of water; sand

notes: robust, erect triquetrous stems 50-150 cm, base of stem up to 2.5 cm thick; leaves in lower part of stem, 20-60 cm, sheath red-brown to black-brown; composite pseudo-umbel inflorescence with branches of unequal length up to 10-20 cm, each ending in a fascicle of 2-5 subcyclindrical spikelets with axes completely covered by tiny florets; long leafy bracts 10-30 cm

Cyperus amabilis 50233

records: Segou, Bamako, Kita, Niono, Gossi (Boudet); Tupere (JH)

habitat: sandy soils

notes: annual forming a small clump, erect stem 10-20 cm, triquetrous; leaf at base of stem, 2-12 cm long; inflorescence a simple or composite pseudo-umbel with branches of unequal length up to 7 cm (some very short), each branch ending in a fascicle of 2-9 sessile spikelets 0.3-1.2 cm long, red-brown; bracts 1-10 cm (shorter or slightly longer than inflorescence)

Cyperus articulatus 502314

records: Goundam, Markala, Niono (Boudet); Adia (JH)

habitat: in or at edge of water

notes: perennial, tall stems erect 80-150 cm; hollow cylindrical stem, segmented by transverse “cloisons” at intervals of 25-50 cm; nearly leafless (leaves at base reduced to sheaths or very short); simple or composite pseudo-umbel, branches unequal, each ending in a short spike of sessile spikelets

ethnobotany: root tubers are aromatic, strung into women’s necklaces as an aphrodisiac for men

Cyperus bulbosus

records: Gao, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: dead dunes

notes: slender rhizomatous perennial, slender rhizomes forming ovoid tubers 0.6-1.2 cm diameter; stem angular 8-30 cm; bristly leaves 5-20 cm at base; simple or occasionally composite terminal spike with 1-2 or more sessile spikelets 0.5-1.5 cm long, red-brown; usually 2 bracts spaced apart, 1.5-10 cm, lower one longer than inflorescence

Cyperus conglomeratus var. conglomeratus 50235

records: Timbuktu, Tilemsi, Hombori, Kidal, Niafounke (Boudet); Timbuktu, Sangha (JH)

habitat: sand (Boudet); typical sedge of wet sand (JH)

notes: perennial, short rhizome but long roots; stem erect, obtusely triquetrous, 15-25 cm; coriaceous leaves near base 20-25 cm; inflorescence a terminal glomerule, or a terminal glomerule at the base of a pseudo-umbel with 1-3 other branches 1-6 cm long, each ending in a glomerule; 1-5 bracts up to 10-25 cm long, often longer than inflorescence

Cyperus difformis

records: Gao, Niono, Koulikoro, Niafounke (Boudet)

habitat: rice fields, wet zones

notes: often in clump, stem triquetrous with sharp edges, 20-50 cm; leaves near base 5-25 cm; unusual inflorescence usually in the form of a pseudo-umbel, 1-8 branches 0.5-5 cm long, with each branch ending in a spherical glomerule; 2-4 bracts 3-25 cm, some much longer than inflorescence

Cyperus digitatus subsp. auricomus

records: Bamako, San, Macina, Djenne-Sonfara, Gao, Gossi

habitat: shallow water, swamps

notes: robust, with short rhizome; stem 50-160 cm, triquetrous with sharp edges or narrowly winged; few leaves in lower part, 20-50 cm; sheath brown or purple; composite pseudo-umbel, 2-6 branches, each branch ending in a digitate fascicle of cylindrical spikelets; 5-7 bracts 12-60 cm, some longer than inflorescence

Cyperus esculentus 50236

records: Bamako, Macina, Gao, Sanga (Boudet)

habitat: sandy

notes: perennial, rhizomes to 15 cm long, scaly, ending in a small ovoid or subglobular tuber; solitary erect stem 15-60 cm, triquetrous; leaves in lower part, 10-30 cm long; pseudo-umbel (usually simple, occasionally composite), 2-6 branches 4-12 cm long, each ending in one or more spikes (terminal spike with or without pedunculate lateral spikes), spikes have 4-25 spaced-out spikelets, golden-brown to rust; bracts 3-20 cm, longest ones often longer than inflorescence

ethnobotany: tubers are dried and sold as a slightly sweet snack (“pois sucrés”)

Cyperus fenzelianus (see C. longus var. pallidus)

Cyperus halpan (see C. haspan)

Cyperus haspan (syn C. halpan)

records: Bamako, Ouarsada, Koulouba (Boudet)

habitat: wet zones

notes: perennial or annual, in clump, short rhizome; erect stem, triquetrous with sharp edges; leaves near base, s.t. developed 5-20 cm long (and bent into a V-shape) but often reduced to a sheath; usually a diffuse composite pseudo-umbel, each branch 1-7 cm ending in a fascicle of usually 3 spikelets; short bracts 1.5-7 cm, longest bract often erect (continuation of stem); spikelets red-brown

Cyperus hamulosus (see Mariscus hamulosus)

Cyperus imbricatus

records: Macina, Koulikoro, Gao, San (lake) (Boudet)

habitat: next to water

notes: in clump, rhizome short; erect stem 25-60 cm, triquetrous; few leaves at base 20-40 cm; inflorescence a group of sessile terminal spikelets, surrounded by a pseudo-umbel of 3-8 unequal branches 1-12 cm long each with a digitate fascicle of 2-12 sessile spikelets; long bracts 20-30 cm, much longer than inflorescence

Cyperus iria 502317

records: Gao, Niono, Koulikoro (Boudet); Tupere (JH)

habitat: near water; ponds in sandstone

notes: usually annual, in clumps, roots reddish; erect stems 15-40 cm, triquetrous with sharp edges, leaves in lower third of stem 4-20 cm; simple or composite pseudo-umbel, branches sharply unequal; spikes have spikelets 1.5-3 cm long, spaced out, green to golden; 3-4 bracts up to 30 cm, longer than inflorescence

Cyperus jeminicus (close to C. conglomeratus [the 2 not distinguished in Berhaut])

records: Gossi, Niafounke, Tassaguela, Gao (Boudet)

habitat: sand dunes, sandy areas in rocks

Cyperus laevigatus (syn C. teretifolius)

records: Timbuktu, Niono, Lac Faguibine (Boudet)

habitat: swamps, edges of brackish water

notes: perennial in dense colonies; long horizontal rhizomes; erect stems 15-50 cm, subcylindrical to obtusely triquetrous; leaves in lower part of stem, very short or reduced to a sheath (light brown-purple); inflorescence a rounded glomerule subtended by two bracts, one bract longer than glomerule, so that the glomerule appears to be lateral rather than terminal

Cyperus longus var. pallidus (syn C. fenzelianus) (similar to C. maculatus)

records: Gao, Dire, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: near water, swamps, clayey soil

notes: perennial, long horizontal rhizomes, no tubers; solitary stems, 60-90 cm, obtusely triquetrous; leaves in lower third, 15-30 cm; usually a simple pseudo-umbel with 4-8 unequal branches 0.5-10 cm, each ending in a short spike of 3-12 spikelets 1-2.5 cm long, red brown; 2-7 bracts 6-15 cm, some longer than inflorescence

Cyperus maculatus 50238 (similar to C. longus var. pallidus)

records: Bamako, Macina, Timbuktu, Bourem, Sofara (Boudet); Gao, Djenne (JH)

habitat: sandbanks next to water

notes: perennial; long horizontal rhizomes; erect solitary stems 20-40 cm, obtusely trigonous; leaves in lower third, 10-40 cm; (generally simple) pseudo-umbel with 1-6 unequal branches, each ending in a short spike of 3-11 spikelets; 2-5 bracts 2-30 cm, some longer than inflorescence

taxonomy: differs from C. longus by hyaline margin of glume

ethnobotany: blackish rootstock is sold by Songhay as incense (pounded and burned)

Cyperus michelianus subsp. pygmaeus (syns C. pygmaeus, Scirpus occultus)

records: Gao, Timbuktu, Djenne, Bamako (Boudet)

habitat: muddy edge of water

notes: tiny plant in clump; stem 1-8 cm, triquetrous; leaves in lower third; inflorescence a solitary glomerule containing many spikelets; 3-6 bracts up to 3-12 cm, widened at base (so that they envelop the glomerule), much longer than inflorescence

Cyperus procerus [not in Berhaut] [get description]

records: Diafarabe, San, Koulikoro, Niger delta (Boudet) [also Cameroun, India, Australia]

habitat: swampy prairies, rice fields

notes: (FWTA2 vol 3): Annual or perennial sedge 40–100 cm. high with wide, soft, triangular stems, long rays and spicately arranged large, obtuse, golden or pink tinged spikelets with obtuse membranous-edged glumes.

Cyperus reduncus

records: Gao (rapids), Bamako, Koulikoro (Boudet)

habitat: wet zones

notes: annual, small clump or occasionally solitary stem; stem erect 10-20 cm; leaves on lower stem, 10-15 cm; diffuse composite pseudo-umbel with 4-12 branches 2-6 cm long, plus secondary branches; tiny digitate fascicles (nearly glomerules); 3-6 bracts 10-30 cm much longer than inflorescence

Cyperus rotundus (perhaps subsp. rotundus?) 50239 (purple nutsedge, nutgrass)

records: Bamako, Gao, Ouan Foras, Sanga, Dogo, San, Djenne (Boudet); Timbuktu, Tupere, Walo (JH)

habitat: wet zones

notes: perennial, with long rhizomes often swollen into clusters of tubers; stem obtusely triquetrous; leaves dense on lower part of stem; usually a simple pseudo-umbel, 3-9 very unequal branches 0.5-12 cm, each with a short terminal spike of 4-15 separated spikelets, red-violet to red-brown; 2-5 bracts 3-10 cm, shorter than inflorescence

Cyperus rotundus var. tuberosus (syn C. tuberosus)

records: San, Djenne-Sofara (Boudet)

habitat: swamps

notes: perennial; triangular stem to 50 cm; linear, grass-like leaf; produces long rhizomes and chains of basal bulbs and tubers

Cyperus teretifolius (syn C. laevigatus)

Cyperus tonkinensis var. baikiei

records: San, Mopti, Katibougou, Koulikoro (Boudet)

habitat: sandy riverside

notes: large dense clump; base of stem swollen into a hard tuber; stem 10-20 cm, obtusely triquetrous; leaf on lower stem 10-15 cm; rather contracted pseudo-umbel, branches 1-4 cm each ending in a spike 2-3 cm long formed by spikelets pressed against each other, spikelets pale brown to silvery; 3-5 bracts 10-25 cm more or less erect (continuing stem)

Cyperus tuberosus (see C. rotundus var. tuberosus)
Eleocharis [terminal spikelets, often headlike]

Eleocharis acutangula 50241 (similar to E. decoriglumis but glumes distinctive)

records: Dogo, Kita, Koulikoro (Boudet); Walo (JH)

habitat: beside ponds, water, swamps

notes: robust perennial, in clump, propagates by rhizomes; erect stem 30-50 cm, 0.2-0.5 cm thick, triquetrous with sharp edges (concave sides); sheaths often tinted purple; terminal head-like subcylindrical spikelet; glume green becoming straw yellow or pale brown, with a narrow hyaline margin

Eleocharis atropurpurea (purple spikerush)

records: Gao, Dogo, Nampala (Boudet)

habitat: wet herby areas

notes: tiny annual plant 5-12 cm long, no rhizome, hairlike stems in clumps; 2 sheaths on each stem, the lower one purplish; ovoid or lanceolate spikelet.

Eleocharis decoriglumis (similar to E. acutangula but glumes distinctive) [get photo]

records: San, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: swamps

notes: annual in clump; stem 25-50 cm, triquetrous; delicate sheath, reddish below; glumes bright green but with a purple or dark red-brown margin

Eleocharis dulcis (spikerush)

records: Macina, Ansongo, Gao, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: in water or at edge

notes: tall plant 40-80 cm, propagating by rhizomes; sometimes a tuber at end of rhizome; hollow cylindrical stem 0.4-0.8 cm wide, segmented by transverse “cloisons” every 3-10 cm; stem ends in lanceolate-cyclindrical spikelet

Eleocharis naumanniana var. caillei [get photo]

records: Macina (Boudet)

habitat: aquatic (submerged)

notes: annual, weakly developed roots, several hairlike stems (supple, extremely thin) in a clump, only a few stems with a terminal spikelet; spikelet may be pinkish, emerges out of water

ethnobotany: tuber edible (but perhaps not widely eaten in W. Africa)

Fimbristylis (leaves near base, inflorescences often pseudo-umbels as for Cyperus)

Fimbristylis bisumbellata

records: Timbuktu, Goundam, Segou, Djenne, Koulikoro

habitat: wet meadows

notes: annual, in clump; stem 10-25 cm, triquetrous; leaves usually shorter than stem; diffuse or contracted pseudo-umbel, branches 1-3 cm, 10-40 spikelets

Fimbristylis cioniana (see Bulbostylis cioniana)

Fimbristylis dichotoma

records: Djenne, Bamako, Niono, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: wet areas

notes: annual, or perennial with short rhizome, in clump; stem 20-60 cm, obtusely fluted (grooved); leaves 15-50 cm, shorter than stem; pseudo-umbel, often composite, branches have one terminal spikelet; spikelets dark brown or s.t. pale

Fimbristylis dipsacea [not in Berhaut] [get description]

records: Gao, Niafounke-Dire, Mopti-Niafounke, Diafarabe (Boudet)

habitat: sandy and clayey edges of swamps and water, ponds on rock

Fimbristylis hispidula (see Abildgaardia hispidula)

Fimbristylis squarrosa (syn Scirpus squarrosus)

records: Bamako, Sofara, Djenne, Gao, Diafarabe (Boudet)

habitat: swamps, sandy riversides

notes: annual, in small dense clump; stems may spread out on ground, 4-15 cm, fluted; leaves shorter than stem; simple or composite pseudo-umbel, often with more than 10 spikelets, green to gray-green; 3-6 bracts, the longest being about as long as the inflorescence

Fuirena ciliaris 50242 (not in Boudet)

records: none (Boudet)

notes: annual; erect stems 15-40 cm, hirsute, finely fluted (grooved); hairy leaves on all parts of stem, 5-10 cm x 0.5-0.9 cm, with more than 5 principal nerves; inflorescence in sessile or pedunculate fascicles at axes of upper leaves

(Boudet: southern Mali records for F. leptostachya, F. stricta var. strica, F.umbellata)
Kyllinga (close to Cyperus)

[erect stems 5-30 cm, leaves at base of stem, leaves often well-developed, terminal inflorescence either a dense ovoid or subglobular spike, or a few sessile spikes grouped into a dense and lobed glomerule]

Kyllinga bulbosa (syn K. albiceps)

records: San beside lake, Ibissa (Boudet)

habitat: wet soils

Lipocarpha kernii (syns Rikliella kernii [thus Berhaut], Scirpus kernii, S. squarrosus [misapplied])

records: Sotuba, Yanfolila, San (Boudet)

habitat: wet soil, swamps, s.t. on cliffs

notes: annual, small clump, stems 15-25 cm, triquetrous; leaves near base, 2-10 cm long; dense fascicle of 2-10 short greenish spikes each 0.5-0.8 cm long; 2-3 bracts 2-7 cm long
Mariscus (s.t. treated as a section of Cyperus)

Mariscus hamulosus (syn Cyperus hamulosus)

records: Gao, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: inundated sandy soil

notes: annual, clumpy, with strong odor when dried; stems 2-10 cm; few leaves, shorter than or equal to length of stems; glomerule or pseudo-umbel with 1-3 sessile or briefly pedunculate spikes; 2-4 bracts much longer than inflorescence

Mariscus squarrosus 50243

records: Sotuba, Gao, Bamako (Boudet); Beni, Kubewel, Bendiely (JH)

habitat: wet zones

notes: annual in small clump; erect stems 3-15 cm, triquetrous; leaves in lower part of of stems, 2-10 cm long; pseudo-umbel with 2-5 dense subcylindrical spikes each 0.5-1.5 cm long, spikes unequally pedunculate with peduncles 0-5 cm; 3-5 bracts up to 2-15 cm, longer than inflorescence;
Oxycaryum (spelled Oxycarium in Boudet)

Oxycaryum cubense (syn Scirpus cubensis) [Boudet as O. cubense], "Cuban bullrush, burrhead sedge"

records: Niger delta, Macina, Gao, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: permanent swamps, near permanent water, s.t. floats

notes: perennial, rhizomes 5-20 cm long; erect stems 40-70 cm x -.3-0.5 cm, triquetrous with sharp angles; leaves in lower part of stem, 40-90 cm long, bent; glomerule or (more often) pseudo-umbel of spikelets, 3-10 unequal branches 0.1-3.5 cm long, each with a terminal glomerule (globular or hemispheric); bracts up to 20-60 cm x 0.4-0.9 cm
Pycreus [triquetrous stems]

Pycreus albomarginatus (see P. macrostachyos)

Pycreus flavescens (syn Cyperus flavescens)

records: Niafounke, Djenne, Bamako (Boudet)

habitat: wet zones

notes: annual or semi-perennial, in clump, stems 6-25 cm, subtriquetrous; leaves in bottom part, 5-15 cm long; highly contracted pseudo-umbel, subglobular 1.5-2.5 cm wide, s.t. along with one or more fascicles on peduncles up to 5 cm; spikelets 0.5-1.8 cm long, yellow-brown; nuts dark red-brown; 2-5 bracts up to 4-18 cm much longer than inflorescence

Pycreus macrostachyos var. macrostachyos 50244 (syn P. albomarginatus)

records: Gao, Bourem, Niono, Bamako (Boudet); Bamba (on Niger R.), Beni, Kubewel, Boro, Walo (JH)

habitat: near water, wet areas

notes: annual, often robust; solitary erect stems (occasionally in a small clump); tall stem 25-80 cm x 0.2-0.5 cm, triquetrous, bottom quarter of stem covered by a usually purple sheath; leaf 8-30 cm x 0.1-0.8 cm; pseudo-umbel, usually simple (s.t. composite), with very unequal branches; spikelets 0.7-2 cm long, straw or red-brown; nuts black-brown or black when mature; bracts up to 5-25 cm, longer than inflorescence

Pycreus pumilus

records: Gao, Bamako (Boudet)

habitat: moist areas on sandy soil

notes: annual, in small clump, short roots; erect short stems 3-15 cm, triquetrous; 1-2 leaves per stem, 2-10 cm long; pseudo-umbel with very unequal branches to 0.5-5 cm; 2-3 bracts, the longest of which is usually longer than the inflorescence; spikes greyish to red-brown; nuts whitish then dark grey when mature
Rhynchospora (none with Boudet citations for the zone)

Rhychospora corymbosa

notes: robust perennial, rhizomatous, in large clump; tall stem 60-150 cm

Rikliella kernii (see Lipocarpha kernii)
Schoenoplectus [bulrushes, hollow cylindrical stems] (genus s.t. includes Bolboschoenus)

Schoenoplectus corymbosus (syn S. brachyceras etc.)

records: Macina, Gao, Dire-Bandiagara, Dogo (Boudet); Bamba (on Niger R.) (JH)

habitat: permanent swamps beside water

notes: robust perennial, short thick rhizome; often multiple stems, tall stem 50-200 cm x 0.2-0.8 cm, cylindrical, weakly fluted; leaves reduced to sheath ending in a lobe, sheaths at base blackish and smooth; simple or composite pseudo-umbel with very unequal branches 1-12 cm long, each ending in a fascicle of sessile spikelets; one bract (shorter or longer than inflorescence) continues the stem; ovoid spikelets, dark brown or less often straw-color, with short stiff hairs at tip; nuts dark brown when mature

Schoenoplectus erectus

records: Gao, Bourem-Bamba (Boudet)

habitat: beside lakes and swamps

notes: annual, in clumps; short stem 5-30 cm excluding bract, cylindrical, fluted; lower leaves reduced to a sheath, upper leaves may have a blade 0.5-2 cm long; inflorescence appears to be lateral, in a dense fascicle, sessile or shortly pedunculate; 1 long bract continues the stem; spikelet greenish to light red-brown; nut dark red-brown or black when ripe

Schoenoplectus lateriflorus

records: Sotuba, Niafounke, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: wet depressions, edge of permanent swamps

notes: annual, in clump with 5-40 stems; short stem 4-40 cm excluding bract, obtusely trigonous, fluted; leaves may all be reduced to sheaths, or upper leaves may be developed, up to 10-30 cm long; fascicle of sessile or subsessile spikelets, with or without 1-2 additional pedunculate fascicles; bract continuing stem 3-12 cm makes inflorescence appear to be lateral (and about 2/3 of the way up the “stem”); ovoid spikelets streaked with gray, green, brown; nut brown-black when mature

Schoenoplectus senegalensis 50246 (syn S. jacobi)

records: Gao, Macina, Niono, Gossi (Boudet); Anda, Beni, Walo (JH)

habitat: ponds, temporarily inundated zones

notes: annual in clump of 4-8 stems; short stems 1-30 cm excluding bract, cylindrical or obtusely trigonous, with transversal “cloisons”; leaves reduced to sheaths; very long bract 5-30 cm, longer than stem, so inflorescence appears to be below mid-point of “stem”; glomerule of 1-25 sessile spikelets

Scirpus kernii (see Rikliella kernii)

Scirpus maritimus (see Bolboschoenus maritimus)

Scirpus occultus (see Cyperus michelianus subsp. pygmaeus)

Scirpus squarrosus (see Rikliella kernii)

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