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Cyperus papyrus L.
Family Cyperaceae
Common name: Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus L. APNI*

Description: Very robust perennial sedge with a stout creeping rhizome. Culms trigonous, smooth, 2–5 m high, to 4 cm diam.

Leaves reduced to sheaths.

Inflorescence big, compound to decompound, anthelate, with numerous primary branches to 40 cm long, with prominent brownish tubular prophylls to 6 cm long; spikes cylindrical, to 3 cm long, to 1 cm diam.; involucral bracts brown not green, numerous, to 10 cm long. Spikelets flattened, numerous in each spike, 3–5 mm long, c. 1 mm wide. Glumes acute to obtuse, 2–2.5 mm long, straw-coloured to pale golden brown. Stamens 1–3. Style 3-fid.

Nut trigonous, obovoid, c. 1 mm long, c. 0.5 mm diam., grey-brown.

Photo D. Hardin

Distribution and occurrence: Widely cultivated and occasionally persisting as a garden escape or naturalised and spreading, e.g. on the NC near Laurieton and CC near Wyong. Native to eastern Africa.

Grows in permanent water bodies.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
AVH map***

Text by K.L. Wilson (2004); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2009)
Taxon concept: Karen Wilson 2004 (with ref. to Haines & Lye 1983, Gordon-Gray 1995).

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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