Schoenoplectiella mucronata (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
Introduction
List of species


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Schoenoplectiella mucronata (L.) J.Jung & H.K.Choi


Protologue: J. Pl. Biol. 53(3): 230 (2010).
Family: Cyperaceae
Chromosome number: 2n = 38, 40, 42, 44

Synonyms

  • Scirpus mucronatus L. (1753),
  • Schoenoplectus mucronatus (L.) Palla (1888).

Vernacular names

  • Bog bulrush, ricefield bulrush, rough-seed bulrush (En).
  • Scirpe mucroné (Fr).
  • Castanhol (Po).

Origin and geographic distribution

Schoenoplectiella mucronata is distributed in the tropics, subtropics and warm-temperate regions of the Old World, from southern Europe and Africa through South and South-East Asia to Japan and Australia. It is introduced and naturalized in the southern United States and South America.

Uses

The stems are used in Madagascar for making hats. In South-East Asia the stems are used in the production of string, mats, sacks and bags. Schoenoplectiella mucronata is sometimes planted as an ornamental in ponds and is considered to have potential as a species in wetlands used for water treatment in the tropics.

Botany

Perennial, tufted herb with erect or horizontal rhizome; stems up to 100(–150) cm tall, 2–8 mm wide, sharply triangular in cross-section, indistinctly ridged. Leaves reduced to a sheath; sheath 4–15 cm long, often ending in a triangular apex or minute mucro, pale brown; ligule absent; blade absent. Inflorescence a pseudolateral, dense, head-like cluster of (2–)4–25 spikelets; main bract stem-like, sharply triangular, 15–30 mm long, acute at the apex, usually erect, occasionally bent back. Spikelets sessile, ovoid to cylindrical, 4–5 mm long at flowering, 30 mm long at fruiting, pale brown, many-flowered; glumes spirally arranged, broadly obovate, concave, 3–4.5 mm long, pale brown; flowers bisexual, perianth consisting of (4–)6 brown bristles with recurved teeth, stamens 3, ovary superior and 1-locular, stigmas 2–3. Fruit an obovoid nutlet, 1.5–2.5 mm × 1–1.5 mm, bluntly 3-angled, blackish, minutely wrinkled.

Schoenoplectiella comprises about 45 species. These were formerly included in Scirpus and more recently in Schoenoplectus, but recent research including DNA studies has led to a split off.

Schoenoplectiella juncoides (Roxb.) Lye (synonyms: Schoenoplectus juncoides (Roxb.) Palla, Scirpus juncoides Roxb.; English names: Japanese bulrush, rock bulrush; French name: scirpe faux-jonc) is a perennial, tufted herb with a short rhizome and stems up to 70 cm tall, distributed in Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Asia, Australia and Pacific islands. It is recorded to occur naturalized in Europe. In Madagascar it is used for weaving hats and fine mats. In South-East Asia it is used as a forage and in China it is used medicinally to release heat, to clear the eyes and to relieve coughing. Schoenoplectiella juncoides is a very important weed in rice cultivation in Madagascar and elsewhere.

Ecology

Schoenoplectiella mucronata occurs in pools and swamps. In East Africa it is found at 900–1400 m altitude. It is an important weed in the cultivation of rice and other crops throughout its distribution range.

Management

Natural reproduction is by seed, rhizome extension and relocation of plant parts. In Indonesia, where Schoenoplectiella mucronata is sometimes cultivated, planting material is obtained by division of old clumps into pieces containing 10–15 stems, which are planted out at a distance of 1 m × 1 m. Before planting, the soil is ploughed or hoed until it is muddy. The stems are harvested 3–4 months after planting, when the flowers have turned brown.

Schoenoplectiella mucronata occurring as a weed in rice cultivation cannot be controlled by flooding, but experiments in the United States have shown that temporary drought can selectively suppress Schoenoplectiella mucronata in rice. Successful control of Schoenoplectiella mucronata in rice cultivation has been achieved with acetolactate synthase inhibitor herbicides such as bensulfuron-methyl, but resistant forms have been developed in several rice-producing areas.

Genetic resources

In view of its extremely wide distribution and its weedy behaviour, Schoenoplectiella mucronata is not threatened with genetic erosion.

Prospects

Schoenoplectiella mucronata seems not to be used much in tropical Africa. Introduction of this species in new locations is not advisable, because of its weedy behaviour.

Major references

  • Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H.J., 2010. Cyperaceae. In: Beentje, H.J. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 467 pp.
  • Jung, J. & Choi, H.-K., 2010. Systematic rearrangement of Korean Scirpus L. s.l. (Cyperaceae) as inferred from nuclear ITS and chloroplast rbcL sequences. Journal of Plant biology 53: 222–232.
  • Lye, K.A., 2003. Schoenoplectiella Lye, gen. nov. (Cyperaceae). Lidia 6(1): 20–29.
  • Simpson, D.A. & Inglis, C.A., 2001. Cyperaceae of economic, ethnobotanical and horticultural importance: a checklist. Kew Bulletin 56(2): 257–360.
  • Vanden Berghen, C., 1988. Flore illustrée du Sénégal. Monocotylédones et Ptéridophytes. Volume 9. Monocotylédones: Agavacées à Orchidacées. Gouvernement du Sénégal, Ministère du Développement Rural et de l’Hydraulique, Direction des Eaux et Forêts, Dakar, Senegal. 522 pp.

Other references

  • Beharrell, M., 2004. Planting, selection and plant establishment in constructed wetlands in a tropical environment. In: Wong, M.H. (Edtor). Wetlands ecosystems in Asia: function and management. Developments in Ecosystems No 1. Elsevier, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. pp. 311–329.
  • Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
  • Boulvert, Y., 1977. Catalogue de la flore de Centrafrique: ecologie sommaire et distribution. Tome 1. Forêts denses et galeries forestières. Texte provisoire. ORSTOM, Bangui, Central African Republic. 465 pp.
  • Bryson, C.T. & Carter, R., 2008. The significance of Cyperaceae as weeds. In: Naczi, F.C. & Ford, B.A. (Editors). Sedges: uses, diversity, and systematics of the Cyperaceae. Monographis in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Volume 108. pp. 15–101.
  • Busi, R., Vidotto, F., Fischer, A.J., Osuna, M.D., de Prado, R. & Ferrero, A., 2006. Patterns of resistance to ALS herbicides in smallflower umbrella sedge (Cyperus difformis) and ricefield bulrush (Schoenoplectus mucronatus). Weed Technology 20: 1004–1014.
  • Catarino, L., Duarte, M.C. & Diniz, M.A., 2001. Aquatic and wetland plants in Guinea-Bissau: an overview. Systematics and Geography of Plants 71(2): 197–208.
  • Fischer, A.J., Strong G.L., Shackel, K. & Mutters, R.G., 2010. Temporary drought can selectively suppress Schoenoplectus mucronatus in rice. Aquatic Botany 92(4): 257–264.
  • Hooper, S.S. & Napper, D.M., 1972. Cyperaceae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 3. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 278–348.
  • Jansen, P.C.M. & Brink, M., 2003. Schoenoplectus (Rchb.) Palla. In: Brink, M. & Escobin, R.P. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 17. Fibre plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 221–224.
  • Wild, H., 1962. Harmful aquatic plants in Africa and Madagascar. Kirkia 2: 1–67.

Sources of illustration

  • Jansen, P.C.M. & Brink, M., 2003. Schoenoplectus (Rchb.) Palla. In: Brink, M. & Escobin, R.P. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 17. Fibre plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 221–224.

Author(s)

  • M. Brink, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Brink, M., 2011. Schoenoplectiella mucronata (L.) J.Jung & H.K.Choi. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.

Accessed 8 March 2020.