Fimbristylis umbellaris (Lam.) Vahl

Last updated: 6 June 2015

Scientific Name

Fimbristylis umbellaris (Lam.) Vahl


Dichostylis torresiana Gaudich., Fimbristylis efoliata Steud., Fimbristylis globulosa (Retz.) Kunth, Fimbristylis torresiana Gaudich, Fimbristylis utilis Elmer, Iria globulosa (Retz.) Kuntze, Isolepis globulosa (Retz.) Schult., Scirpus globulosus Retz., Scirpus umbrellaris Lam., Trichelostylis globulosa (Retz.) Nees [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput sandang (Peninsular) [2]
English Globular fimbristylis [2]
China San Xing Piao Fu Cao [3]
Indonesia Men dong (Javanese); jukut bubu-ut (Sundanese); werot (North Sulawesi) [2]
Thailand Phrong klom noi (Trang) [2]
Philippines Tikog (Bisaya, Cebuano); badang-badang (Ilokano); ana­hiunan (Manobo, Cebuano) [2]
Vietnam C[or] qu[aw]m bloo]ng tr[of]n [2]

Geographical Distributions

Fimbristylis um­bellaris originates from Southeast Asia and is distributed from India and Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia to China, Japan (Ryukyu Is­lands), Micronesia and Polynesia. In Southeast Asia, it occurs in Indo-China, Peninsular Malay­sia, and Indonesia (throughout), Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines (throughout) and New Guinea. It is cultivated in Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia (West Sumatra, Java, and North Sulawesi) and the Philippines. [2]

Botanical Description

F. um­bellaris is a member of the family Cyperaceae. It is an erect, hairless and perennial herb, which can grow up to 120 cm tall, with a short horizontal rhizome clothed with brown scales and grows densely tufted in a clump. [2]

The stem is rigid, obtusely three-angled to nearly cylindrical, measuring 20-120(-200) cm x 1-5 mm (in cultivation, it reaches 2 m or taller), usually flattened below the inflorescence, striate, smooth and light green. [2]

The leaves on the stem are reduced to bladeless, cylindri­cal, obliquely truncate sheaths with brown mar­gins where the lower ones are scale-like, and 2-4 cm long, while the upper ones are up to 20 cm long. The leaves of sterile shoots are nar­row and short, flat or channeled, about 1.5 mm wide and without ligule. [2]

The inflorescence is usually a much reduced simple or compound umbel or open corymb, measures up to 10 cm long and with up to 40 spikelets. There are 2-3 basal involucral bracts which are erect, lance-shaped and measure up to 1 cm long. There are up to 10 primary rays  which are unequal, measure up to 5 cm long and smooth. The spikelets are solitary, spherical, ovoid or ellipsoid, measuring 4-8(-12) mm x 3-4 mm, densely many-flowered and red-brown. The rachilla is persistent and narrowly winged while the glumes are spirally arranged and tightly imbricated, membranous, ovate, measure up to 2.5 mm x 1.5 mm, obtuse at base, with broadly white-membranous margins, rounded at apex and often torn and obscurely 2-3-veined on both sides of the ridged midrib which ends below the apex. The flowers are bisexu­al. There are 2-3 stamens about 1 mm long. The anthers are oblong-linear. The style is 1-2 mm long. It widens at the base, hairless, usually three-angled with 3 stigmas but some­times flat with only 2 stigmas and articulated with the ovary (falling off as a whole). [2]

The fruit is a nut-like, compressed-three-angled or biconvex achene, measuring 0.8-1 mm x 0.6-0.8 mm, finely warty and pale yellow when mature. [2]


F. umbellaris grows well at an average temperature of 25-27°C with ample sunshine. It generally needs fertile soils with regular irriga­tion and grows well on soils rich in organic matter and on clay loams or sandy loams, with a pH of (4.5-)6-7(-8). It is sometimes grown in a 'sawah' (irrigated rice field) which is less suitable for rice cultivation, but more often it is planted in natu­rally wet locations, which are terraced like 'sawahs'. In Tasikmalaya Regency, it is usually grown at 300-700 m altitude. F. umbellaris grows wild, frequently abundantly, in open, wet loca­tions, such as swamps and grasslands, usually at low altitudes, rarely up to 1000 m. In Indonesia, F. umbellaris is considered a weed of minor impor­tance in rice fields, where it can be controlled by chemical means. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of F.umbrellaris [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Fimbristylis umbellaris (Lam.) Vahl. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mac 23; cited 2015 June 2]. Available from:
  2. Fimbristylis umbellaris (Lam.) Vahl In: Brink M, Escobin RP. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 17: Fibre plants. The Netherlands, Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  3. Wiersema JH, León B. World Economic plants: A standard reference. 2nd ed. Florida: CRC Press. p. 1253.