This taxon is sometimes spelled Cyperus halpan L.[
]. When first publishing the name, Linnaeus misread the vernacular name halpan as haspan. The misread name has been generally accepted, though there are some older publications where the name was corrected to halpan. It seems that the generally accepted current view is that the original (mis-spelling) of haspan should stand[
Cyperus adenophorus Schrad. ex Nees
Cyperus americanus (Boeckeler) Palla
Cyperus aphyllus Vahl
Cyperus autumnalis Vahl
Cyperus caespitosus Llanos
Cyperus cancellatus Ridl.
Cyperus cayennensis Link
Cyperus efoliatus Boeckeler
Cyperus gracilis Muhl.
Cyperus gramineus Roem. & Schult.
Cyperus graminifolius Poir.
Cyperus halpan L.
Cyperus hyemalis Pursh ex C.B.Clarke
Cyperus junceus Link
Cyperus juncoides Lam.
Cyperus laticulmis Spreng.
Cyperus leptos Schult.
Cyperus microcarpus Boeckeler
Cyperus muehlenbergii Spreng.
Cyperus nudus Kunth
Cyperus pedatus Nees
Cyperus phaeorhizus K.Schum.
Cyperus planiculmis Steud.
Cyperus platyculmis R.Br.
Cyperus princeae C.B.Clarke
Cyperus riparius Schrad. ex Nees
Cyperus stellatus Link
Cyperus triqueter Boeckeler
Cyperus tunicatus Schult.
Cyperus vaginatus Link
Scirpus autumnalis Rottb.
Cyperus haspan is an annual to perennial, somewhat grass-like plant with soft, almost succulent growth. The roots are fibrous when the plant is an annual, with shortish rhizomes being produced when the plant perennates. The culms can be tufted or scattered, 10 - 60cm tall[
The plant has several minor uses, for which it is usually harvested from the wild and used locally[
Cyperus haspan The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2018)[
Tropics and subtropics in much of Africa, through Asia to Australia.
Sparse forests, grasslands on mountain slopes, sand by river margins, swamps, ditch margins in valleys, waste places, wet places, along trails, dry fields, rice paddies from near sea level to 1,600 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
The plant grows in the wild in seasonally and permanently wet grassland, as well as on thin wet soil over rock and in ditches[
A common weed in much of the tropics and subtropics[
Plants often flower in their first year from seed[
Salt is prepared from the ashes of the plant[
]. Water is percolated through the ashes in order to dissolve out the potassium salts, the water is then evaporated off to leave the salts behind[
]. It is made on a small scale by some tribes in eastern Africa[
We have no specific information for this species, but it is said that the inner base of the young stems of all species in this genus can be eaten raw, and make an excellent survival food in times of need[
Smoke from the pith of the plant is used as a febrifuge[
A decoction of the plant is used internally against shingles[
The whole plant, particularly the rhizome, is used with other plants to treat fevers[
The rhizomes are diuretic and a paste made from it is taken as a remedy for kidney problems[
]. It is also used for
healing, lactation and as a stimulant[
The pith of the stems has been used as lamp wicks[
The plant is a source of materials for weaving into mats and baskets[
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