Cyperus surinamensis

Cyperus surinamensis Rottb.

Common Names: Tropical Flat Sedge

Family: Cyperaceae

Habit: Cyperus surinamensis grows as a rhizomatous perennial herb to 1.5 m in height when in flower, with a triangular stem. The 3-10 flat leaves to 50 cm in length with a scabrous margin. The leaf sheath may be pale green to light brown.

The incomplete, perfect flowers are arranged in a cluster of 10-20 spikelets in an umbel like corymb. The spikelets are at the end of a triangular shaped peduncle and are subtended by 4-8 leaf like bracts to 40 cm in length and 5 mm wide.  The spikelets are brown at maturity, laterally compressed to 1 cm in length. Each spikelet has 15-30 flowers. There is no calyx or corolla. There is 1 stamen. The ovary is superior with a single locule. The fruit is a triangular achene at maturity.

Habitat: Cyperus surinamensis grows along the edges of Fresh Water Wetlands and some wet Human Altered environments (old fields and roadsides).

Distribution: Cyperus surinamensis occurs in the northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Caribbean region, Central and South America and the southern United States and Mexico.

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