Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Chufa Flatsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-October.
- Field Marks: This is the only flatsedge which produces underground tubers at the ends of slender rhizomes. Because the scales of the spikelets do not lie flat, each spikelet appears to be minutely toothed.
- Habitat: Along streams, around lakes and ponds, wet fallow fields, old fields, wet prairies.
- Habit: Coarse perennial with slender rhizomes and tubers.
- Stems: Erect, smooth, triangular, up to 2 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, smooth or rough along the edges, 1/3-1/2 inch
- Flowers: One per scale, with many scales per spikelet, the entire cluster of flat spikelets subtended by 3-9 leaflike bracts.
- Scales: Oblong, yellow or brown, pointed at the tip, 1/8-1/6 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: 1; styles 3; ovary superior.
- Fruits: Achenes yellowish, triangular, oblong, about 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: This species is also called Nutgrass. The tubers are edible by humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife. The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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