The twigs are densely clothed with flat spreading linear leaves of a fine glossy green above and glaucous beneath; in the old trees they become shorter and more rigid and partly lose their distichous habit.
The radula when present comprises several transverse rows of teeth, and each transverse row may have several teeth (polystichous), two teeth (distichous), or one tooth (monostichous).
- Portion of a branch of a Lime tree,with four leaves arranged in a distichous manner, or in two rows.
This arrangement often continues during the life of the plant, but at other times it changes, passing into distichous and spiral forms. Some tribes of plants are distinguished by their opposite or ver ticillate, others by their alternate, leaves.
Less absolute characters, but generally trustworthy and more easily observed, are the feathery stigmas, the always distichous arrangement of the glumes, the usual absence of more general bracts in the inflorescence, the split leaf-sheaths, and the hollow, cylindrical, jointed culms - some .or all of which are wanting in all Cyperaceae.