Common name: Dwarf Papyrus
Cyperus prolifer Lam. APNI*
Description: Perennial, with culms 40–60 (-100) cm high, 2- 7 mm diam., terete or trigonous, close together along a thickened, tough rhizome.
Leaves reduced to sheaths with a short mucro at the apex.
Inflorescence simple or compound, forming a hemispherical to globose digitate cluster of up to 100 branches of similar length, each bearing 1-numerous spikelets at the apex; involucral bracts numerous, all shorter than the branches. Spikelets flattened, solitary or 3–14 per cluster, 3–12 mm long, 1.0–1.3 mm wide, 7–25-flowered, pale red-brown; glumes acute to obtuse, 1.2–1.5 mm long, pale red-brown with paler margin. Stamens 3. Style 3-fid.
Nut trigonous, obovoid, 0.4–0.5 mm long, 0.3–0.4 mm diam., whitish to pale brown.
Flowering: spring to autumn
Distribution and occurrence: Frequently cultivated; rarely naturalised. Native to eastern and southern Africa.
Prefers wet, sunny habitats.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld
It resembles a small Papyrus. May proliferate from the tips of the inflorescence branches.
Text by KL Wilson (Aug 2009)
Taxon concept: Getliffe & Bajnath (1976); Haines & Lye (1983)
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.