Cyperus papyrus (NL: Papyrusriet, Papyrus / EN: Papyrus sedge, Paper reed / DE: Echte Papyrus, Papyrusstaude /FR: Papyrus) is a monocot belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a herbaceous perennial native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water. This tall, robust, leafless aquatic plant can grow 4 to 5 m high. It forms a grass-like clump of triangular green stems that rise up from thick, woody rhizomes. Each stem is topped by a dense cluster of thin, bright green, thread-like stems around 10 to 30 cm in length, resembling a feather duster when the plant is young. The younger parts of the rhizome are covered by red-brown, papery, triangular scales, which also cover the base of the culms. Botanically these represent reduced leaves, so strictly it is not quite correct to call this plant fully "leafless". Egyptians used the plant for many purposes, most famously for making papyrus paper. Its name in Greek and in English is widely believed to have come from Egyptian.
One of the very few places in Europe (the only place ?) where this plant grows naturally is the "Riserva Naturale Fiume Ciane e Saline di Siracusa" in Sicily.
Image: Ciane (IT-SI) – 03/04/2012
© Johan Dierckx
The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.
All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)
Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/