Eleocharis acutangula (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Eleocharis acutangula (Roxb.) Schult.

Family: Cyperaceae


Eleocharis fistulosa Schult., Scirpus acutangulus Roxb., S. fistulosus Poir.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: purun (Kalimantan), purun tikus (Sumatra), bhan-talobhanan (Madura).


Pantropical but uncommon. In Malesia found scattered in Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia (throughout), the Philippines (Luzon, Mindanao) and New Guinea.


The stems are used in western Borneo for making bags, in eastern Sumatra for making cigarette boxes and sacks. In Brazil they also provide material for weaving.


A perennial herb, 30-70 cm tall, with short rhizome and long stolons. Stem erect, tufted, triquetrous, 3-4 mm wide, not transversely septate. Leaves reduced to bladeless tubular sheaths. Inflorescence a terminal, ebracteate, single spikelet; spikelet cylindrical, 2-3.5 cm × 3-4 mm, many-flowered, dusky green; glumes rather loosely imbricate, not keeled, many-veined, the lowest 1-2 usually empty; flowers bisexual with perianth of 6-7 bristles, stamens 2-3, pistil with 3-fid style. Fruit a yellow-brown nut, unequally biconvex, obovate, 1.5-2 mm × 1.2-1.5 mm, with a short neck and with about 15 vertical rows of shallow pits on each side. E. acutangula is found in open wet locations, such as swamps and rice fields, up to 800 m altitude. In Indonesia it is a weed of minor importance in rice, where it can be controlled manually. In Java it flowers from March to October. Natural propagation is by fruits which are dispersed by water.

Selected sources

6, 39, 47, 71, 102, 108, 158, 162.


M. Brink, P.C.M. Jansen & C.H. Bosch