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


Habit Plants perennial, cespitose, (5–)10–60 cm, bases hard, glabrous; rhizomes absent.

polystichous, mostly spreading-excurved, to 1/2 as long as culms;

sheaths usually entire;

ligule absent;

blades linear, 2–3 mm wide, flat or shallowly involute, margin scabrid, apex blunt.


simple or compound anthelae with numerous small pedunculate clusters of sessile spikelets;

scapes linear, distally terete, 1–2 mm thick;

involucral bracts short, usually shorter than inflorescence.


greenish brown or yellow-brown, ovoid, 2–3 mm;

fertile scales broadly ovate, 1–1.5 mm, obtuse or apically notched, midrib not excurrent.


stamens usually 1;

styles 2-fid, slender, glabrous.


dark brown to nearly black, tumidly obovoid, rarely obscurely 3-ribbed, 1 mm, faintly striate to variously warty, faintly reticulate.


= 56.

Fimbristylis cymosa

Phenology Fruiting all year.
Habitat Sands of sea beaches, brackish sandy open sites, often disturbed, commonly just in from mangrove or on sandy road shoulders
Elevation 0–50 m (0–200 ft)
from FNA
FL; s Mexico; Central America; South America; Africa; Asia; Indian Ocean Islands; Pacific Islands; Australia
[BONAP county map]

New World examples of Fimbristylis cymosa are almost exclusively bicarpellate, with bifid styles; Old World Oceania examples are tricarpellate, with trifid styles, a form not covered in this treatment.

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

Source FNA vol. 23, p. 128.
Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Fimbristylis
Sibling taxa
F. annua, F. autumnalis, F. brevivaginata, F. caroliniana, F. castanea, F. decipiens, F. dichotoma, F. miliacea, F. perpusilla, F. puberula, F. schoenoides, F. squarrosa, F. thermalis, F. tomentosa, F. vahlii
Synonyms F. melanospora, F. obtusifolia, F. sintenisii, F. spathacea, Scirpus obtusifolius
Name authority R. Brown: Prodr., 228. (1810)
Web links