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Papyrus Cyperus papyrus

Phonetic Spelling
sy-PEER-us pa-PY-russ
Description

Papyrus is a large, emergent, aquatic perennial sedge from Africa that produces rhizomes covered in thick, black scales. It grows 10-15 feet high with unusual feather duster type heads composed of thin rays and elongated bracts. In NC it is used as a container plant or annual. It needs boggy soil or standing water in full sun to partial shade. 

It can be used in water gardens or as a houseplant grown in a 20-gallon pot. Bring inside before the first frost.

It has escaped cultivation in areas as Fl, CA, and HI and can become quite invasive by clogging up waterways.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Asian Garden- Zen Garden Water Garden Water Wheel
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Nanus’
    Grows 2-3 ft. tall
‘Nanus’
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#water garden#houseplant#container plant#weedy#boggy#water plant#unusual#fantz#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Nanus’
    Grows 2-3 ft. tall
‘Nanus’
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#water garden#houseplant#container plant#weedy#boggy#water plant#unusual#fantz#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cyperus
    Species:
    papyrus
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Was used to make a paper called papyrus. It was also burned and the ashes used medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Water Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Description:
    Brown, nut-like fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Umbel
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The umbellate inflorescence is a dense cluster of many bright green, shiny thread-like rays 4-12 inches long resembling a feather duster on young plants. Small, secondary umbels with 3-5 rays and narrow, elongated bracts are produced on the ends of the rays. The non-descript, greenish-brown flowers are produced at the ends. Can grow up to 1 foot across.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Red-brown, papery, triangular scales on the lower stem are reduced leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Description:
    Triangular green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden