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Useful Tropical Plants

Cyperus papyrus

L.

Cyperaceae

+ Synonyms

Chlorocyperus papyrus (L.) Rikli

Cyperus antiquorum (Willd.) Chiov.

Cyperus elapses Chiov.

Cyperus imerinensis Boeckeler

Cyperus madagascariensis (Willd.) Roem. & Schult.

Cyperus nyassicus Chiov.

Cyperus panormitanus Chiov.

Cyperus papyraceus Crantz

Cyperus siculus Chiov.

Cyperus syriacus Parl.

Cyperus ugandensis Chiov.

Cyperus zairensis Chiov.

Papyrus antiquorum Willd.

Papyrus domesticus Poir.

Papyrus madagascariensis Willd.

Papyrus mossambicensis Parl.

Papyrus siculus Parl.

Common Name: Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus
Large extent of the plant growing along the Nile
Photograph by: Marchal
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus Cyperus papyrus

General Information

Papyrus is a vigorous, grass-like, clump-forming, perennial plant with a spreading root system, growing up to 5 metres tall.
The plant has been utilized by humans for over 4,000 years, having been used by the ancient Egyptians for making a kind of paper. It is often cultivated as an ornamental in tropical and warm temperate areas of the world[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Tropical Africa and Madagascar.

Habitat

Often forms vast stands in swamps, shallow lakes, and along stream banks throughout Africa. It is considered a weed in the Sudan, Dahomey and Egypt[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height5.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the subtropics to the tropics. It can tolerate a mean annual precipitation in the range 100 - 4,200mm, and a mean annual temperatures of 20 - 30°c[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
Succeeds in full sun and in partial shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
,
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. Prefers a fertile, wet soil, or shallow water up to 30cm deep[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
]. The plant can tolerate a pH in the range 6.0 - 8.5[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
Plants can spread rapidly by means of their rhizomes[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
]. Many African swamps are dominated by papyrus thickets, which totally block navigation. It is estimated that the swamp areas of the White Nile, and the 'Papyrus Swamps' around Lake Kioga and Victoria are responsible for the loss of 50% of that river's water through evaporation and plant transpiration[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
Plants can flower throughout the year[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Edible Uses

The pith of the stem was recommended for food in ancient Egypt[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Rhizomes and lowermost parts of the stems - raw or cooked[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
]. They can also be chewed, sucked, and spat out, much as sugar cane is done[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Medicinal

Papyrus had a number of medicinal applications in the past, though it is little, if at all, used nowadays[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
The pith was recommended for widening and drying of fistula[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
The main use seems to have been confined to burnt papyrus sheets, the ash of which was reputed to have the action of pulverised charcoal and was used in the treatment of certain eye diseases[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
]. The ash was also said to check malignant ulcers from spreading in the mouth or elsewhere[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
It was also said that, if macerated in vinegar and then burnt, the ash would heal wounds[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Other Uses

The fibrous pith of the stems has been utilized for making paper[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
]. For making paper, the fibrous covering is stripped off the stem and the inner pith is split into wafer-like strips. These strips are then laid side by side, with others placed crosswise on top; the strips are dampened then pressed so that their glue-like sap cements them together. They are then dried into a sheet[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
]..
The plant was also traditionally used to make formal bouquets funeral garlands, boats, cordage, fans, sandals, matting, corkage, boxes, and paper[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

Papyrus stems can be used for caulking seams in wooden ships[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].
Papyrus mats are used for making fences and huts[
269
Title
Handbook of Energy Crops
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J.
Publisher
-
Year
1983
ISBN
-
Description
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of both temperate and tropical plants.
].

The rhizomes are cut into sections and used as beads[
520
Title
Botanical Beads
Publication
 
Author
Smith R.J.
Website
http://www.botanicalbeads.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website looking at seeds that are used for ornament. It is based on a book that the author had written.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Division.

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