Eleocharis dulcis

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Eleocharis dulcis


Perennial; Stamens 3;


Alor present, Aru Is present, Asia-Tropical: India present; Jawa (Jawa present); Lesser Sunda Is. (Bali present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Maluku (Maluku present); New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Australasia: Queensland (Queensland present), Banka present, Carolines present, Japan present, Kangean present, Key present, Lesser Sunda Is present, Luzon present, Madagascar present, Melanesia present, Micronesia present, Mindanao present, N. Australia present, Negros present, New Caledonia present, Pacific: Fiji (Fiji present); Marianas present; Samoa (Samoa present), Papua present, Riouw Arch present, Ryu Kyu Is present, S. China present, SE. Asia present, Sawu present, Southern America: Argentina Northeast (Formosa present), Timor present, W. New Guinea present, tropical West Africa present
Tropical West Africa, Madagascar, SE. Asia (from India to S. China, Formosa, the Ryu Kyu Is. and Japan), Australia (N. Australia, Queensland), Micronesia (Marianas, Carolines), Melanesia (New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa), in Malesia: Sumatra, Banka, Riouw Arch., Malay Peninsula, Java, Kangean, Lesser Sunda Is. (Bali, Sawu, Alor, Timor), Philippines (Luzon, Negros, Mindanao), Celebes, Moluccas (Key&Aru Is.), and New Guinea (W. New Guinea, Papua).


The boiled tubers of the wild form are sold in large quantities at the Djakarta and Manila markets in the months of August to December (kulub, S). They are usually made into chips, kripik (ĕmping tĕki). See OCHSE, l.c. In the warmer parts of China the species has long been cultivated and developed into a strain yielding tubers which are superior in size and sweetness to those produced by the wild plants and esteemed as a nutritious delicacy in Chinese cookery. They are also extensively eaten raw as a substitute for fresh fruits because of the crisp apple-like flesh. The much larger tubers of this cultivated form (‘matai’ = horse’s hoof; E. tuberosa R. & S. s.s.) are imported in Indonesia. Recently there is vivid interest in the establishment of this species as a new crop in the United States of America (see ).
In Sumatra (Padang Highlands) and N. Celebes the species is also cultivated; here the stems are used for making sleeping mats (this use is also reported from Halmahera). By some Papuan tribes they are used for making skirts for the women.


Originally SVENSON (1929) distinguished between E. dulcis s.s. and E. equisetina PRESL, the latter characterized by the punctulate (not reticulate) nuts; however, he considered them conspecific in 1939. BLAKE (1939, 1947) distinguished E. equisetina by stolons never tuberiferous, harder stems usually less flattened in herbarium specimens, broader, shorter, subtruncate glumes somewhat incurved when dry, long-apiculate anthers, bright brown nut with acutely costulate margins and more evenly flifftnged external cells, weaker, usually much shorter hypogynous bristles which are quite free from another (not conspicuously connate at the base), and non- prominent receptacle.
Apart from the difficulties encountered in naming the numerous incomplete collections (without rhizomes, or in flower only), I fail to divide satis- factorily the Malesian materials into two groups, on account of the many intermediates. Undoubtedly Sveral races are involved in this widely distributed and extensively cultivated, extremely polymorphic Species; possibly additional collections of whole plants with ripe fruits will enable to distinguish between them. The stems of the cultivated form are much more robust than those of the wild plants; cytological study must show whether polyploidy is involved. E. kuroguwai , from Japan, characterized by the narrowly oblong glumes and the linear appendage of the connective, apparently also belongs here; according to KOYAMA (1961, l.c.) it is a good species, char- acterized by the less imbricate, rounded glumes, the conspicuously annulate nuts with narrower style- base, and the spikelets gradually narrowed towards the apex.


Merr. 1912: Fl. Manila. p 114
Clarke 1893 – In: Fl. Br. Ind. p 626
HENSCHEL 1923 – In: En. Philip. p 119
NAVES 1882: NOV. App. p 306
SVENS. 1929: p. 161. – In: Rhodora. t.188, f. 14
CAMUS 1912 – In: Fl. Gén. I.-C. p 82
BACK. 1949 – In: Bekn. Fl. Java, (em. ed.). fam. 246, p. 12
Clarke 1893 – In: Fl. Br. Ind. p 625
PRESL 1907 – In: Philip. J. Sc. Bot. 89
NAVES 1882: Nov. App. p 306
Koord. 1911 – In: Exk. Fl. Java. p 196
BOECK. 1870 – In: Linnaea. p 474
NAVES 1882: Nov. App. p 306
Ridl. 1925 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen. p 150
KÜK. 1938 – In: Bot. Jahrb. p 257
Miq. 1856 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat. p 302
R. & S. 1909: Ill. Cyp. f. 1-5; t. 34, f. 7
KERN 1968 – In: Back. & Bakh.f., Fl. Java 3. p 460
Miq. 1856 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat. p 302
BLANCO 1877: p. 45. – In: Fl. Filip., ed. 3. t. 15
OCHSE 1931: Veg. Dutch E. Ind: 219. f. 132
BROWN 1921: p. 250. – In: Min. Prod. Philip. For. t. 8
BLANCO 1845: Fl. Filip., ed. 2. p 24
STEUD. 1855 – In: Syn. p 82
BACK. 1928: Onkr. Suiker: 152. t. 154
HENSCHEL 1918: Sp. Blanc. p 82
HENSCHEL 1961 – In: J. Fac. Sc. Un. Tokyo. p 97
HENSCHEL 1947 – In: J. Arn. Arb. p 227
R. & S. 1922 – In: Exk. Fl. Java. f. 243
SVENS. 1929: p. 158. – In: Rhodora. t. 188, f. 16
Ridl. 1907 – In: Mat. Fl. Mal. Pen. (Monoc.). p 75
S. T. BLAKE 1939: p. 103. – In: Proc. R. Soc. Queensl. t. 8, f. 6-9
HENSCHEL 1939 – In: Rhodora. p 11
KOYAMA 1957 – In: Contr. Inst. Bot. Un. Montréal. p 35
Merr. 1917: Int. Rumph. p 104
S. T. BLAKE 1939: p. 104. – In: Proc. R. Soc. Queensl. t. 8, f. 10-13
Ridl. 1907 – In: Mat. Fl. Mal. Pen. (Monoc.). p 75
CAMUS 1912 – In: Fl. Gén. I.-C. p 83
cf. TRIN. 1822: Clav. Agr. p 120
STEEN. 1932: Arch. Hydrobiol: 285. f. 15, 36, 53
Ridl. 1925 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen. p 150
Miq. 1856 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat. p 302
NAVES 1882: NOV. App. p 306
Merr. 1923 – In: En. Philip. p 120