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Cyperus esculentus is often confused with:
Cyperus rotundus Whole plant in bloom
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Euphorbia hirta leaf arrangement
Cyperus rotundus Whole plant in bloom
Ulmus rubra ulnus rubra

Yellow Nutsedge Cyperus esculentus

Phonetic Spelling
sy-PEER-us es-kew-LEN-tus
Description

Yellow Nutsedge, is a perennial, glossy green, grass-like native weed or sedge that spreads predominantly by rhizomes and tubers, although viable seed can be produced. Plants die back to the ground in fall, with new shoots emerging in spring from underground tubers. This species, as well as other sedges, grows best in wet sites, prefers warm weather and full sun conditions, but will grow in a diversity of sites and environments.

Like its Eurasian cousin, Purple Nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), Yellow Nutsedge is destructive to crops in sunny, open fields and moist, disturbed soil, robbing fellow plants of nutrients with long, invasive roots called rhizomes. If you pull it up you can see the nut-shaped edible (esculentus) nodules that store the nutrients. Unfortunately, once pulled up, the nutsedge may leave broken roots to form more numerous roots in its place. It is best to remove young plants and leave exposed roots in the sun to dry out. Only certain preemergence herbicides control yellow nutsedge. Note that Purple Nutsedge responds differently to herbicides than Yellow Nutsedge. Listed in the USDA Plants-database as a noxious weed in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases. This plant is allelopathic, that is, it removes nutrients from soil.

More information on Cyperus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#weed#weedy#sedge#high maintenance#fast growing#native weed#perennial weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#weed#weedy#sedge#high maintenance#fast growing#native weed#perennial weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cyperus
    Species:
    esculentus L.
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used homeopathically; almond-flavored tubers used for a drink.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern United States, tropical to subtropical regions
    Distribution:
    Throughout United States, except Wyoming and Montana.
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host for Dun Skipper.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Difficult to remove due to long, rhizomous roots.
    Edibility:
    Tubers can be eaten raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder and used in confectionery. A nut-like flavor but rather chewy and with a tough skin. A beverage is made by mixing the ground tubers with water, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and ice. An edible oil is obtained from the tuber that compares favourably with olive oil. The roasted tubers are a coffee substitute.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 5 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • 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 Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Tiny, single seeded, smooth, oblong shaped.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Spikelets occur at the ends of the solitary stems in a cluster where the flower stalks arise from a common point (umbel-like). Individual spikelets are reddish-purple to reddish-brown in color. The size and shape of the umbel is rather variable and can be several inches across. Each umbel has 1-3 sessile spikes and 6-10 non-sessile spikes on straight branches of varying length. At the base of each umbel or compound umbel of spikelets, there are several leafy bracts of varying length; the largest bract is usually longer than the inflorescence. Each floral spike is about 2-3" long, consisting of 4 ranks of spikelets along its central stalk (or rachis). The central stalk is flattened and narrowly winged. The spikelets are perpendicular to this stalk and about ½–¾" long. The spikelets are yellow to golden brown, narrowly linear, and flattened in shape; they consist of 10-30 florets and their scales. Each floret has a white tripartite style and yellowish brown anthers; the tips of the styles are curly.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are light green, smooth, glossy, long, v-shaped and narrow. Three leaves extend broad at the base tapering to a point. The leaves tend to congregate toward the base of the plant. The leaf blades are up to 1½ feet long and 1/3 of an inch across spreading outward from the stem. There is a conspicuous channel along the central vein of each leaf blade, especially the larger ones. The leaf sheaths are whitish green, closed, and hairless; sometimes they become pale red toward the base of the plant.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Lenticels:
    Not Conspicuous
    Pith (Split Longitudinally):
    Spongy
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Erect, triangular stem branching into three stems of yellow, antenna-like seedpods. Stems rise from tuber or basal bulb with overapping, brown scales on rhizomes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy