The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

Asian flatsedge, smallflower umbrella sedge, variable flatsedge

Habit Herbs, annual, cespitose.

1–15, trigonous, 7–30 cm × 1.2–2.5 mm, soft (flattened in pressing), glabrous.


2–7, flat, (2–)7–22 cm × 2.2–4 mm.


heads dense, 7–17 mm diam.; when rays short, heads sessile or nearly so, then densely irregularly lobate, 12–35 mm diam.;

rays 1–5, 2–32 mm;

bracts 2–4, longest bract erect or nearly so, appearing as continuation of culm, other bracts horizontal to ascending, 1–22 cm × 0.5–3.5 mm, margins and keel minutely scabridulous.


30–120, greenish brown to purplish brown, oblong-ellipsoid, compressed, (2–)3–5(–6) × 0.8–1.2 mm;

floral scales (6–)12–20(–30), laterally clear margins, stramineous to deep purple, medially greenish, stramineous, or purplish, laterally ribless, medially 3-ribbed, obovate to orbiculate, 0.6–0.8 × 0.6–0.8 mm, apex mucronulate.


stamens 1 or 2;

anthers ovoid-ellipsoid, 0.1 mm, connective not prolonged;

styles 0.1 mm;

stigmas 0.1–0.3 mm.


light brown, obovoid-ellipsoid, 0.6–0.8 × 0.3–0.4 mm (as long as subtending scale), base cuneate, apex obtuse, apiculate, surfaces finely reticulate, papillose.

Cyperus difformis

Phenology Fruiting summer.
Habitat Disturbed, muddy soils, shallow waters
Elevation 0–1000 m (0–3300 ft)
from FNA
AL; AZ; CA; FL; GA; ID; KY; LA; MS; NC; NJ; NM; OR; PA; SC; TN; TX; VA; Mexico; South America; West Indies (Puerto Rico); Central America (Nicaragua, Panama); Eurasia; Indian Ocean Islands; Pacific Islands; Australia [Introduced in North America]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Cyperus difformis is naturalized in the New World and native to the Old World, where it ranges from southern Europe to southern Africa and eastward to Southeast Asia and Australia.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 23, p. 156.
Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Cyperus > subg. Pycnostachys
Sibling taxa
C. acuminatus, C. aggregatus, C. alopecuroides, C. amabilis, C. articulatus, C. bipartitus, C. cephalanthus, C. compressus, C. croceus, C. cuspidatus, C. dentatus, C. dentoniae, C. diandrus, C. digitatus, C. dipsaceus, C. distans, C. distinctus, C. drummondii, C. echinatus, C. elegans, C. entrerianus, C. eragrostis, C. erythrorhizos, C. esculentus, C. fendlerianus, C. filicinus, C. filiculmis, C. filiformis, C. flavescens, C. flavicomus, C. floribundus, C. fugax, C. fuligineus, C. fuscus, C. giganteus, C. gracilis, C. granitophilus, C. grayi, C. grayoides, C. haspan, C. hermaphroditus, C. houghtonii, C. hypopitys, C. hystricinus, C. involucratus, C. iria, C. laevigatus, C. lancastriensis, C. lanceolatus, C. lecontei, C. lentiginosus, C. ligularis, C. lupulinus, C. manimae, C. microiria, C. mutisii, C. niger, C. ochraceus, C. odoratus, C. onerosus, C. ovatus, C. owanii, C. oxylepis, C. pallidicolor, C. papyrus, C. parishii, C. pilosus, C. planifolius, C. plukenetii, C. polystachyos, C. prolifer, C. prolixus, C. pseudothyrsiflorus, C. pseudovegetus, C. pumilus, C. reflexus, C. refractus, C. retroflexus, C. retrofractus, C. retrorsus, C. rotundus, C. sanguinolentus, C. schweinitzii, C. serotinus, C. seslerioides, C. setigerus, C. spectabilis, C. sphacelatus, C. sphaerolepis, C. squarrosus, C. strigosus, C. surinamensis, C. tetragonus, C. thyrsiflorus, C. virens
Synonyms C. lateriflorus
Name authority Linnaeus: Cent. Pl. II, 6. (1756)
Web links