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Taxon: Cyperus involucratus Rottb.

Genus: Cyperus
Family: Cyperaceae subfamily: Cyperoideae tribe: Cypereae
Nomen number: 12898
Place of publication: Descr. pl. rar. 22. 1772
Name verified on: 06-May-2012 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 06-May-2012
Species priority site is: Arctic and Subarctic Plant Gene Bank (PALM).
Accessions: 1 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • flat sedge   (Source: Weed CIBA ) – English
  • umbrella sedge   (Source: Pl Book ) – English
  • umbrella-plant   (Source: Websters Dict [as C. alternifolius]) – English
  • cipero-de-jardim   (Source: A. Molina, p.c.) – Portuguese
  • parasollsäv   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental   (fide Hortus 3, as C. flabelliformis; Eur Gard F)
  • Environmental: pollution control   (fide Jap J Crop Sci 66:325-326. 1997)
  • Materials: fiber   (fide Ann Bot Fenn 27:64. 1990, as C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis)
  • Medicines: folklore   (fide Kew Bull 56:282. 2001, as C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis)
  • Social: religious/secular   (fide Kew Bull 56:282. 2001, as C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis)
  • Weed   (fide Weed CIBA)

Distributional range:

    Northeast Tropical Africa: Eritrea; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan
    East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda
    West-Central Tropical Africa: Burundi; Rwanda; Zaire
    South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal
    Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar; Mauritius; Reunion
    Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia; Yemen

      Naturalized: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Macaronesia: Cape Verde; Portugal - Azores; Spain - Canary Islands
    Northern Africa: Egypt; Morocco
    West Tropical Africa: Benin
    China: China [s.]
    Eastern Asia: Taiwan
    Indian Subcontinent: Pakistan; Sri Lanka
    Indo-China: Thailand
    Malesia: Indonesia; Philippines
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    Southeastern U.S.A.: United States - Florida, Louisiana
    South-Central U.S.A.: United States - Texas
    Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - California
    Northern Mexico: Mexico - Baja Norte, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas
    Southern Mexico: Mexico - Chiapas, Colima, Federal District, Jalisco, Morelos, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatan
    North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
    South-Central Pacific: French Polynesia - Society Islands
    Southwestern Pacific: Fiji
    Caribbean: Jamaica; Puerto Rico
    Mesoamerica: Costa Rica

  • also cultivated


  • Arnold, T. H. & B. C. De Wet, eds. 1993. Plants of southern Africa: names and distribution. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa no. 62.
  • Baijnath, H. 1975. A study of Cyperus alternifolius L., sens. lat. (Cyperaceae). Kew Bull. 30:521–526.
  • CIBA-GEIGY, Basel, Switzerland. Documenta CIBA-GEIGY (Grass weeds 1. 1980, 2. 1981; Monocot weeds 3. 1982; Dicot weeds 1. 1988)
  • Davidse, G. et al., eds. 1994. Flora mesoamericana.
  • FNA Editorial Committee. 1993–. Flora of North America.
  • Gordon-Gray, K. D. 1995. Cyperaceae in Natal. [= C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis Kuk.].
  • Govaerts, R. & D. A. Simpson. 2007. World checklist of Cyperaceae, sedges. [= C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis Kuk.].
  • Haines, R. W. & K. A. Lye. 1983. Sedges and rushes of East Africa.
  • Jessop, J. P. & H. R. Toelken, eds. 1986. Flora of South Australia, ed. 4.
  • Kukkonen, I. 1990. On the nomenclatural problems of Cyperus alternifolius. Ann. Bot. Fenn. 27:59–66. [= C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis Kuk.].
  • Miyazaki, A. et al. 1997. On the photosynthetic production and water cleaning ability of Cyperus alternifolius L. grown by the floating culture system. Jap. J. Crop Sci. 66:325–326.
  • Molina G., A. M. 2011. Review of Cyperaceae data for World Economic Plants, ed. 2. pers. comm. via e–mail on 31 Mar.
  • Stanley, T. D. & E. M. Ross. 1983–1989. Flora of south-eastern Queensland.
  • Thulin, M., ed. 1993–. Flora of Somalia. [= C. alternifolius subsp. flabelliformis Kuk.].
  • Tucker, G. C. 1994. Revision of the Mexican species of Cyperus (Cyperaceae). Syst. Bot. Monogr. 43:20.
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea. [mentions].
  • Walters, S. M. et al., eds. 1986–. European garden flora.


Check other web resources for Cyperus involucratus Rottb.:


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (06 October 2015)

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