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Cyperus rotundus is often confused with:
Cyperus esculentus Yellow Nutsedge form
Native alternative(s) for Cyperus rotundus:
Cyperus esculentus Yellow Nutsedge form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cyperus esculentus Yellow Nutsedge form
Oxalis stricta Oxalis stricta habit
Amaranthus palmeri Amaranthus palmeri

Cyperus rotundus

Phonetic Spelling
sy-PEER-us ro-TUN-dus
Description

Cyperus rotundus, or Purple Nutsedge, is a perennial, glossy-green, grass-like Eurasian sedge or weed with an erect triangular stem branching into three stems of purple, antenna-like seedpods. 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 native cousin, Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus), Purple Nutsedge spreads through slender elongated rhizomes and tubers found at the base of the stem and is destructive to crops in sunny, open fields and dry, disturbed soil. The rhizomes remove nutrients from the soil robbing their fellow plants and can be very difficult to remove. If you pull it up you can see the nut-like nodules that store the nutrients (and are edible) as well as a network of long roots. Unfortunately, once pulled up, the Nutsedge may leave broken roots to form more numerous roots and therefore, new plants in its place and seeds lay dormant for several years. It is best to remove young plants and leave exposed roots in the sun to dry out. It is considered one of the world’s worst weeds and is reported in more than 90 countries as a weed infesting at least 52 different crops.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known insect or disease problems. This plant is allelopathic and removes nutrients from soil and its existence in a field significantly reduces crop yield. It is resistant to most herbicides and is one of the few weeds that cannot be stopped with plastic mulch.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#weed#weedy#sedge#rhizomatous#perennial weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#weed#weedy#sedge#rhizomatous#perennial weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cyperus
    Species:
    rotundus
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Roots are staple carbohydrate in topical regions. Also used homeopathically.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and Subtropical Old World
    Distribution:
    Southern and South Central United States
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
    Edibility:
    Tuber can be eaten but is described as more bitter and less useful than its near cousin, Cyperus esculentus.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 7 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 5 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    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)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Tiny, triangled smooth achenes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Large spikelets in short spikes occur at the ends of the solitary stems in a dense cluster where the flower stalks rise from a common point (umbel-like). Individual spikelets are reddish-purple to reddish-brown in color. Linear-lanceolate and slightly flattened, 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch long, 1/10 of an inch wide. Unequal rays support spikelets.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Three subtending leaves broad at base tapering to a point. Leaves up to 15 inches long and 1/3 of an inch wide. Scabrid on margin and major veins. Leaf sheath green to reddish-brown. Foliage dies back at first frost
  • 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 on a mat-forming mound. Stems rise from tuber or basal bulb. Rounded, fiber-covered tubers at the stem bases.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy