Cyperus esculentus

Cyperus esculentus L.

Common Names: Yellow Nut Sedge

Family: Cyperaceae

Habit: Cyperus esculentus grows as a stoloniferous, tuber forming, perennial herb to 75 cm in height when in flower, with a triangular stem. The leaves arranged alternately on the lower half of the peduncle, parallel veined, to 30 cm in length and 7 mm wide with an acuminate leaf apex and a scabrous margin. The leaf sheath may be reddish brown.

The incomplete, perfect flowers are arranged in a cluster in a panicle of racemes. The spikelets are at the end of a triangular shaped peduncle and are subtended by 3-4 leaf like bracts.  Each raceme has 10-40 spikelets, each at 90 degree angle from the rachis. The round spikelets are brown at maturity, each with 10-40 flowers. Each flower subtended by a brown keel shaped bract. There is no calyx or corolla. There are 3 stamens.  The ovary is superior with a single locule with a 3-lobed style.  The fruit is a triangular achene at maturity.

Habitat: Cyperus esculentus grows in wet sandy areas.

Distribution: Cyperus esculentus is known to occur on New Providence and Eleuthera in the Lucayan Archipelago. It grows throughout North, Central and South America as well as parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.  It has now spread into Asia.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cyperus esculentus is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.