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CYPERUS papyrus

Image of Cyperus papyrus

Jessie Keith

Family

Cyperaceae

Botanical Name

CYPERUS papyrus

Plant Common Name

Egyptian Papyrus, Papyrus

General Description

Best known for its use in paper making by the ancient Egyptians, papyrus is a large, aquatic sedge that originates from tropical Africa and the Nile River Basin. Its bright green color and striking bold looks have made it a popular plant for contemporary aquatic container plantings and subtropical and tropical water gardens.

Egyptian papyrus is an evergreen water-loving plant that produces tall, dark green stems topped with umbrella-like sprays of long thread-like filaments. Tan spikelets of flowers and seeds appear when growing conditions are favorable. These are highly ornamental and great for cutting.

Plant papyrus in full or partial sun. It requires saturated organic soil. Pond-edges, water-filled containers or areas with dense mucky soil are ideal. Areas with hot and humid summers are also preferable. Remove brown or damaged stems to keep clumps looking clean and fresh. Specimens can be easily overwintered indoors or grown as houseplants. Divide papyrus when the clump becomes too large for a container or area. The center of the plant may die out with age and should be discarded during division.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 16, 17, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Sedge or Rush

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-8' / 0.6m - 2.4m

  • Width

    2'-5' / 0.6m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Feature Plant, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes