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Cyperus esculentus

Cyperus esculentus L.

 

Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderCyperalesFlowering plants including grasses
FamilyCyperaceaeSedge family
GenusCyperusFrom an ancient Greek word meaning “sedge”
Speciesesculentus“Edible”

About plant names...

Yellow nut grass is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. Depending upon who you ask, it is an annoying weed, a treat whose tubers are to eaten raw or roasted, an attractive wild plant, a source of feed for livestock, or an ingredient for a Spanish drink called Horchata.

Identification: The stiff grasslike blades of this plant often lift it up to 35" (90 cm) high, so it is easy to notice, but it is the yellow-brown flower spikes that really stand out. Like tangled bottle brushes, they emerge in stiff clusters 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) long, whose color and shape is distinctive. As with most other sedges, stems are triangular in shape. Individual flower spikelets are ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) long. The clusters are surrounded by four stiff grasslike bracts, neatly positioned at 90° angles from each other.

Edibility: These perennial plants have edible roots called “nuts,” said to have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Cultivated varieties have been used for food since ancient Egyptian times. Today many areas of the world use them for animal or human food, as a flavoring for soft drinks, or for various medicinal purposes.

Online References:

Cyperus esculentus at Illinois Wildflowers

Cyperus esculentus on WikiBooks.org

Cyperus esculentus University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program

Cyperus esculentus on Wikipedia

Cyperus esculentus on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Cyperus esculentus at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

References:

del Tredici, Peter, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: a Field Guide, Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell Universty Press, 2010, p. 296

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

7/31/2013 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (25 × 37 cm)

Cyperus esculentus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

8/5/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

7/31/2013 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (21 × 31 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Cyperus esculentus (Nut Grass, Yellow Nut Grass, Yellow Nutsedge)

8/5/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm)

Range:

About this map...