Cyperus esculentus L.

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Cyperus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haka Game Park, Cleveland Dam, Harare

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Synonyms: Cyperus callistus Ridl.
Common names: Earth almond (English) Edible galingale (English) Water grass (English) Yellow nut-grass (English) Yellow nutsedge (English)
Status: Native
Stoloniferous perennial. Stolons to 15 cm, covered with scales and ending in a 3-8 mm tuber. Culms to 70 cm, triangular, glabrous. Inflorescence an anthela with 1 sessile and 3-10 stalked spikes. Spikelets 5-20 mm, brown. Glumes 2.2-2.6 mm, ovate-elliptic, reddish-brown. Style with 3 branches. Nutlet 1.3-1.5 mm, ellipsoid, triangular, grey, shiny.
Derivation of specific name: esculentus: edible, referring to the tubers
Habitat: Weed of disturbed ground, roadsides and cultivated areas; also in vleis.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa and Southern Europe.
Botswana distribution:
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bromilow, C. (2010). Problem Plants and Alien Weeds of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Pages 60 - 61. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 298. as Cyperus esculentus esculentus

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 19. As Cyperus esculentus esculentus

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12. As Cyperus esculentus esculentus

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 532. (Includes a picture).

Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H.J. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 227 - 229. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 87.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 118.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 8. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cyperus esculentus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Cyperus esculentus
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cyperus esculentus
Flora of Malawi: Cyperus esculentus
Flora of Mozambique: Cyperus esculentus
Flora of Zambia: Cyperus esculentus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyperus esculentus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cyperus esculentus
African Plant Database: Cyperus esculentus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cyperus esculentus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cyperus esculentus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cyperus esculentus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cyperus esculentus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cyperus esculentus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cyperus esculentus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cyperus esculentus
Plants of the World Online: Cyperus esculentus
Tropicos: Cyperus esculentus
Wikipedia: Cyperus esculentus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Cyperus esculentus., retrieved 21 July 2024

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