T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cyperus papyrus (Papyrus)

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Cyperus
Species: C. papyrus
Binomial name: Cyperus papyrus
Common names: Papyrus, Papyrus sedge, Paper reed, Indian matting plant, Nile grass, Egyptian paper reed

Cyperus papyrus is a species of aquatic flowering plant belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a tender, herbaceous, perennial, native to Africa, Madagascar, and some Mediterranean countries where grows it in flooded swamps, and on lake margins.In New Zealand, it grows mostly in the north of the North Island, usually close to habitation but is occasionally found in remote sites. It forms tall stands of reed-like vegetation in sunny, frost-free areas in swamps and in areas where there is very little water movement. This species needs a muddy or sandy substrate in water at least half a metre deep so that the tall culms will not topple. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Cyperus papyrus is a tall, robust, leafless, aquatic, perennial sedge that can grow up to 2.5+ m high. It forms a grass-like clump of wide triangular green culms (stems) that are up to 4 cm across. The stems which are around 10 to 30 cm in length rise up from thick, woody rhizomes. The younger parts of the rhizome are covered by red-brown, papery, triangular scales, which also cover the base of the culms. Each culm is topped with a rounded umbel that is to 30cm wide, composed of many slender, bright green, rays each bearing a small greenish-brown spikelet (flower-heads). They develop into brown, nut-like fruits. Viable seed production is not known from New Zealand plants.
In winter the oldest culms dry off and in spring new culms formed from the growing point of the rhizomes.



Cyperus papyrus growing within the suburbs of Tauranga.


The rounded umbel that is to 30cm wide, composed of many slender, bright green, rays 





The flowerheads

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0