Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The family Cyperaceae, or the Sedge family, is a taxon of monocot flowering plants that superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 4,000 species described in about 70 genera. These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South America. While sedges may be found growing in all kinds of situations, they tend to be associated with wet places and poor soils.
Some well-known sedges are the Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). Ancient Egyptian writing material was made out of the latter. This family also includes cotton-grass (Eriophorum), spike-rush (Eleocharis), sawgrass (Cladium), and nutsedge or nutgrass (Cyperus, a common lawn weed).
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