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 Add this item to the list   Cyperus esculentus


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 Vernacular names:Yellow nutsedge (UK), knolcyperus (NL) 
 Synonyms:Cyperus tuberosus Pursh ; Cyperus repens Ell. ; Cyperus aureus Ten.; Chlorocyperus aureus Pall.; Cyperus melanrhizus Delile; Cyperus nervosus Bert.; Pycreus esculentus (L.) Hayek 
 EPPO code:CYPES (Cyperus esculentus), CYPTU (C. tuberosus). 
 Plant code - standard list:SL5175 
 Botanical thesaurus:
 Factsheet link (English):
 Factsheet link (French):
 Factsheet link (Dutch):


 Height of plant (m):0.03 - 0.9 
Roots and stem
 Description of subterranean parts:a basal bulb is formed by a swelling of the culm below the soil surface and branched, perennial rhizomes (> 30 cm, scaly) grow out this basal bulb to terminate in new shoots or underground tubers (rounded to oblongate, up to 15 mm, colour pale and with a pleasant, mild, nutty flavour) which are easily detached from the soft rhizomes. Tubers are formed to a depth of > 50 cm. 
 Description of stem:erect, culms simple with triangular section, light-bright green, smooth. 
Fruit and seeds
 Description of fruit:achenes 3-angled, narrowing gradually from a square-shouldered apex towards the base, bright yellow and with a very fine granulation. 
 Description of propagule:seeds (very few in the Netherlands), detached rhizomes and tubers. 
 Description of leaf:sheathing ( reddish-brown on lower leaves), ligule absent, light-bright green, smooth, acuminate, coming gradually to a long, acute tip, with rough margins and a rough vein on the lower side of the leaf. 
alternate yes
opposite no
decussate no
whorled no
 Description of inflorescence:inflorescences in terminal simple or compound umbels (> 6 cm); substanded by unequal leaf-like brackets ( 2-9) varying from 5 to 25 cm long. Pedicels 4-10, 3-10 cm long, bearing yellowish-brown or straw-coloured spikelets (flattened, 2-ranked) 5-30 mm long and 1.2-5 mm wide) of several, 2-ranked flowers. Rhachilla broadly winged, persisting; glumes (1.5) 2.5-3 (5) mm long, deciduous, concave, 7-9-nerved, hardly keeled, pale yellow to light brown. 
 Description of flower:sessile, perianth absent, bisexual, 2-ranked. 
Colour of flower:
white no
yellow no
orange no
pink no
brown no
red no
purple no
blue no
green no

Additional information

 Uses:the edible tubers have a nutty taste; in Spain tubers are washed and crushed in water, the filtered white, milky-peppery tasting product is called ""horchata"". This beverage may be drunk cool in hot summers and is commercially produced by farmers. The tubers are also used for medicine and since the tubers contain 20-36% oil, C. esculentus has been suggested as potential oil crop for the production of biodiesel. 
 Similar species:Cyperus longus, C. blysmoides and C. rotundus. Cyperus longus do not produce true tubers and the basal part of the stem and the apex of the woody rhizome are swollen as the pseudotuber. C. blysmoides (mainly in Africa) produces almost spherical, 2-6 mm diameter, black, tuber-like bulbs and has no leafy bracts at the base of the small, dark inflorescence. C. rotundus (in certain areas their niches appear to overlap) has tubers which are elongated and very dark in colour, having a very unpleasant resinous flavour and are attached to the plant (and to other tubers) by a tough, wiry rhizome: the leaf tips come abruptly to an acute tip. The achenes of this plant are dark brown. 
 Look-alike link:

Distribution information

 Original distribution:the original range is obscure, the plant is widespread weed from the tropics to the temperate zone. 
 Current distribution:widespread from the Tropics to the Temperate zone. Asia: Cambodia, China, Former USSR, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Middle East. Europe: Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, South-eastern Europe, Switzerland, UK. Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. North America: Canada, Mexico, USA. Central America: Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico. South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. Oceania: Australia, Pacific Islands. 
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Life cycle:
annual no
perennial yes
monocarp no
biennial no
Flowering time in Europe:
January no
February no
March no
April no
May no
June no
July yes
August yes
September yes
October yes
November no
December no
 Pollination characteristics:pollination by wind. 
 Hardiness:hardy to -15ºC. 
 Dormancy:the seeds are normally dormant when shed but lose their dormancy with moist storage at 10ºC. Germination is enhanced by alternating temperatures of 20 to 30ºC. Seedlings emerge readily from a depth of 1.3 cm depth but more slowly from 2.5 cm. Once formed, the tubers are dormant and behave almost like seeds in being tolerant of frost and desiccation (unlike those of C. rotundus). storage at low temperatures such as 3-10ºC breaks tuber dormancy. 
 Habitat requirements:temperature is crucial to the successful establishment of C. esculentus. The percentage of bud sprouting increases with increasing temperature within the range 12 to 38ºC; no sprouting occurs at 10ºC, and a few tubers sprout at 42ºC. The rate of sprouting also increases with temperature up to 35ºC. a base temperature of 11.4ºC was determined for bud-sprouting of C. esculentus tubers. higher temperatures may lead to larger sprouts and greater survival rate. 
 Ecological amplitude:C. esculentus is found on low ground, wet fields, in heavily irrigated crops, along river banks and roadsides, and in ditches. It tolerates high soil moisture much better than C. rotundus. It grows very well on all soil types including black peat and performs equally well at pH 5 to 7. It can establish in cooler climatic conditions than C. rotundus and tolerates shade. 
 Habitat in the Netherlands:cultivated / agricultural land (especially in maize-, potato- and lily fields). 
 Palatability:tasty (with the taste of hazelnuts); in Spain, when tubers are washed and crushed in water, the filtered white, milky-pepper tasting product is called "horchata". This beverage may be drunk cool in hot summers. 

Invasiveness, risk and control

 Host, diseases and pest information:Fungi: Cercospora carices; Puccinia canaliculta, Rosellinia necatrix. Nematodes: Rotylenchulus reniformis. Meloidogyne arenaria. Insects: Bactra verutana (Lepidoptera). Agrotis segetum (Lepidoptera). Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Lepidoptera). Choizococcus rostellem (Hemiptera). Chaetocnema pulicaria (Coleoptera). Lissorhopterus brevirostris (Coleoptrea). 
 Invasive behavior information:serious weed in cultivated, agricultural land; difficult and costly to control. 
 Control:mechanical control: tillage has little effect on C. esculentus when tubers are dormant during off-season: the tubers are then less susceptible to desiccation than those of C. rotundus. Conversely, when the tubers have sprouted, and before new stolons and tubers are formed, C. esculentus is much more susceptible than C. rotundus to disturbance and desiccation by tillage. Hence in the USA, pre-sowing cultivations before kate sowing of soyabean can cause useful reductions, and little inter-row cultivation in maize, etc. can also be effective at an early growth stage when the reserves of the parent tuber are newly depleted. Shading from the crop helps in the suppression of C. esculentus just as improved drainage and crop rotation. Chemical control: several herbicides are used. Integrated control of several crop rotations and herbicides will give the best results. 
 Pathway of introduction:seeds (in grain), transport with soil, trade/transport of plants of parts of them. 

Link to other websites / databases

 Link to other websites_Url: