Annual or perennial sedges, with slender triangular culms, leafy below, and with 2 or more leaves at the summit forming an involucre to the strictly sessile, simple or compound dense head of spikelets. Spikelets numerous, compressed, falling away from the axis of the head at maturity, consisting of only 3 or 4 scales, the 1 or 2 lower ones small and empty, the middle one fertile, the upper empty or staminate. Joints of the rachis wingless or narrowly winged. Scales 2-ranked, keeled. Perianth none. Stamens 1-3. Style 2-cleft, deciduous from the summit of the achene. Achene lenticular. [In honor of Peter Kylling, a Danish botanist of the seventeenth century.]

About 45 species, natives of tropical and temperate regions. Besides the following, 2 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Kyllinga monocephala Rottb.

1 Kyllinga Rottb Descr IC 12 Pl 4 F 3 4 1773 720

1. Kyllinga Pumila Michx. Low Kyllinga

Fig. 720

Kyllingia pumila Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 28. 1803.

Annual, culms densely tufted, filiform, erect or reclined, 2'-15' long, mostly longer than the leaves. Leaves light green, roughish on the margins, usually less than 1" wide, those of the involucre 3-5, elongated, spreading or reflexed: head oblong or ovoid-oblong, 3"-4" long, simple or commonly with 1 or 2 smaller ones at the base; spikelets about 1 1/2" long, flat, 1-flowered, the 2 empty lower scales more or less persistent on the rachis after the fall of the rest of the spikelets; scales ovate, acuminate or acute, thin, about 7-nerved, the fertile one with a rough keel; stamens 2; style 2-cleft; achene lenticular, obtuse.

In moist or wet soil. Delaware to Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and Mexico; West Indies and tropical continental America. Aug.-Sept.