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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

3. Cyperus L. -- Galingale, umbrella sedge

7. Cyperus esculentus L. -- Yellow nut-sedge, chufa

Robust tuberiferous perennial 20-60 cm tall; culms arising singly, stout, erect; hard nutlike tubers produced at the ends of underground scaly stolons (these evident even if no tubers are collected). Leaves shorter than to surpassing the culms, the blades 3-12 mm wide, the involucral bracts similar to the leaves, often greatly exceeding the inflorescence. Spikelets pinnately arranged on an elongate rachis to form several to many rather open, cylindrical spikes, a few of the spikes sessile and others extended on rays mostly 2-8(15) cm long; spikelets 4-12 mm long; scales overlapping in the spikelets, (1.8)2-2.5 mm long, stramineous to pale brown, with 7-13 well-distributed, often faint nerves; rachilla persistent, the scales and achenes dropping off separately, eventually the entire rachilla falling as a whole; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes tan to pale brown, trigonous, ellipsoid to obovoid, 1.2-1.5 mm long. Late Jul--Sep. Shores, stream banks and other wet places; uncommon in the e parts of ND and SD, more common s; (Pantropical and temperate, in N.Amer. from ME to ND, s to S.Amer., sparingly intro. to the w; common as a lawn weed in se U.S.).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Section -- Cyperus erythrorhizos Muhl. -- Red-rooted cyperus
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Cyperus odoratus L. -- Coarse cyperus

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