Taxonomic revision of the tropical African group of Carex subsect. Elatae (sect. Spirostachyae, Cyperaceae)

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The tropical African monophyletic group of Carex subsect. Elatae (sect. Spirostachyae) is distributed in continental tropical Africa, Madagascar, the Mascarene archipelago, and Bioko Island (32 km off the coast of West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea). The first monographic treatment of this Carex group, as well as of the tribe Cariceae, was published by Kükenthal (as sect. Elatae Kük.). Recently, the first molecular (nrDNA, cpDNA) phylogeny of Carex sect. Elatae has been published, which also included the species of sect. Spirostachyae. In the resulting consensus trees, most species of sect. Elatae were embedded within core Spirostachyae and so this section was joined with sect. Spirostachyae as subsect. Elatae. Within subsect. Elatae, several groups were described, one of which was termed the "tropical African group". Here we present a taxonomic revision of this group, based on more than 280 vouchers from 29 herbaria as well as in field trips in Tropical Africa. In the revision, we recognise 12 species (16 taxa) within the tropical African group, and so have somewhat modified our previous view, in which 10 species, 12 taxa were listed. One new species from Tanzania is included in this treatment, C. uluguruensis Luceño & M. Escudero. Several combinations are made, C. cyrtosaccus is treated as a synonym of C. vallis-rosetto and, finally, the binomial C. greenwayi has been recognised.




Escudero, M., & Luceño, M. (2011). Taxonomic revision of the tropical African group of Carex subsect. Elatae (sect. Spirostachyae, Cyperaceae). Anales Del Jardin Botanico de Madrid, 68(2), 225–247.

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