Plant DetailShow Menu

Umbrella Sedge Cyperus alternifolius

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cyperus frondosus
  • Cyperus involucratus
  • Eucyperus alternifolius
Phonetic Spelling
sy-PEER-us al-tern-ee-FOH-lee-us
Description

Sun or light shade; can be used in water gardens or as a houseplant (container on tray of water); keep moist or grow in standing water; prefers fertile soil; sun and wind can brown the bracts; plant in 2-5 gallon pot; grow with 1-6 inches of water covering the crown

Quick ID Hints:

  • Grass-like leafy bracts form umbrella at top of scape
  • Stem (scape) up to 3' long, green, glabrous
  • 20-25 linear, leaflike bracts crowded at scape top

Rhizomatous herb to 3', multi stemmed and spreading.

Inflorescence is non-ornamental; Scapes tend to grow so long that they flop over and take root; May require support; Will grow in standing water; good in or near water element. 

Prefers high light, wet soil, and medium to high relative humidity; easily propagated; pest problems.

More information on Cyperus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Water Garden Water Wheel
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gracilis'
  • 'Nana'
  • 'Variegatus'
    Variegated leaves
'Gracilis', 'Nana', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#water garden#houseplant#container plant#wet sites#fantz#wet soil intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gracilis'
  • 'Nana'
  • 'Variegatus'
    Variegated leaves
'Gracilis', 'Nana', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#water garden#houseplant#container plant#wet sites#fantz#wet soil intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cyperus
    Species:
    alternifolius
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Water Plant
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
  • Flowers:
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flat, leaf-like bract produced at top of stem. A compound umbel of spikelets, subtended by leafy bracts. Spikelets brown, 1/4".
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leafless stem topped with spiral of dark green leaves. Bracts 11-25, linear, leaflike, green, 1/4" wide, crowded at top of scape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    (scapes) erect, dark green, crowded.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil