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Cyperus alternifolius

Pronunciation: Sy-peer-us
Family: Cyperaceae
Common Name: Umbrella plant
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 3'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Native to: Madagascar
Notes for Identification: Hardiness zones sunset 8-9, 12-24 usda 8 (freezes to ground in winter but recovers quickly in spring) - 11 landscape use: mesic landscape design themes around pools, ponds, water features, dry washes, containers, needs root restriction to limit spreading form & character: herbaceous perennial, upright and stiff with umbrella top, marsh plant suggests water. Growth habit: upright and clumping to 3' foliage/texture: basal foliage nothing more than a reddish brown sheath. Stems, green, obtusely triangular to rounded, finely striate, medium texture flowers & fruits: green bracts, 4" to 12" long at terminal ends of stems, inflorescence a compound umbel with short raylet spikes emanating from above bracts. Fruit a small dull brown achene seasonal color: none temperature: shoots damaged by freezing temperatures light: partial shade best soil: tolerant of, in fact prefers damp to wet soil watering: regular pruning: shear to ground every 2 years to rejuvenate and to remove build up of thatch. Propagation: division of clumps disease and pests: none additional comments: great plant to use around ponds, pools, or fountains or to suggest the presence of water in the landscape. Widely naturalized in tropical areas. Cultivated for over 2,000 years. The cultivar 'gracilis' (dwarf umbrella plant) is smaller, more fine textured, and rarely flowers. Source: asu
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Perennials
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