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Useful Temperate Plants

Cyperus longus

L.

Cyperaceae

+ Synonyms

Chlorocyperus badius (Desf.) Palla

Chlorocyperus longus (L.) Palla

Cyperus amoenus Kunth

Cyperus badius Desf.

Cyperus brachystachys C.Presl

Cyperus elongatus Lej. ex Nees

Cyperus emarginatus Schrad.

Cyperus fastigiatus Willd. ex Kunth

Cyperus fenzelianus Steud.

Cyperus guthnickii Tineo ex Lojac.

Cyperus heldreichianus Boiss.

Cyperus intermedius Guss.

Cyperus italicus Tod.

Cyperus kunthii Parl.

Cyperus lateriflorus Steud.

Cyperus myriostachyus Ten.

Cyperus neglectus Parl.

Cyperus oxystachys Nees ex Boeckeler

Cyperus parlatoris Lojac.

Cyperus preslii Parl.

Cyperus racemosus Ten.

Cyperus speciosus Lojac.

Cyperus stenostachyus Benth.

Cyperus tenuiflorus Rottb.

Cyperus thermalis Dumort.

Cyperus torosus Vahl

Eucyperus longus (L.) Rikli

Pycreus badius (Desf.) Hayek

Pycreus longus (L.) Hayek

Common Name: Galingale

No Image.

General Information

Cyperus longus is an evergreen, perennial, grass-like plant with short, rather thick rhizomes; it produces a cluster of culms up to 100cm tall[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]..
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Cyperus longus is widespread, with a stable population, and does not face any major threats. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2020)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

The juice of the plant is regarded in some areas to be very poisonous and is said to burn the skin when applied to it[
1942
Title
The Medicinal and Poisonous Sedges of India
Publication
The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Vol 38 No. 1 pp 163-170 1936
Author
Caius J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
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.
,
1548
Title
Flora Iberica
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.floraiberica.es
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Published in book form, the treatments of the various species have also been released on-line in PDF format. Records entered here are all from the on-line PDFs.

Range

Eurasia - Britain to Spain, east through Turkey and the Caucasua to Arabia, Kazakhstan and India; Africa - most areas

Habitat

Marshes and the margins of water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, canals and ditches[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.80 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Cyperus longus has a wide distribution from the temperate regions of western and southern Europe to the tropics of Africa. It has been reported to withstand temperatures down to around -15°c[
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.
].
Prefers a moist sandy loam[
95
Title
Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Publication
 
Author
Saunders. C. F.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1976
ISBN
0-486-23310-3
Description
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
,
117
Title
The Book of Edible Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Rosengarten. jnr. F.
Publisher
Walker & Co.
Year
1984
ISBN
0802707699
Description
A very readable and comprehensive guide. Well illustrated.
]. Succeeds in any good garden soil so long as it does not dry out[
162
Title
Ornamental Grasses.
Publication
 
Author
Grounds. R.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1989
ISBN
0-7470-1219-9
Description
Cultivation details of many of the grasses and bamboos. Well illustrated.
], it also grows well in up to 30cm of water[
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.
].
A very ornamental plant[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
], though it can spread freely at the roots when well-suited[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
Galingale was one of the favourite spices of the medieval kitchen and was an ingredient of 'pokerounce', a kind of medieval cinnamon toast[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. It is rarely used at present. Both the root and the stem have a sweet moss-like perfume, resembling that of the violet but not so pure. The aroma becomes more fragrant with age[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Edible Uses

Tuber - used as a spice in soups, pies and sweets[
5
Title
Food for Free.
Publication
 
Author
Mabey. R.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1974
ISBN
0-00-219060-5
Description
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

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[
85
Title
Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
Publication
 
Author
Harrington. H. D.
Publisher
University of New Mexico Press
Year
1967
ISBN
0-8623-0343-9
Description
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
].

Medicinal

The root is a bitter aromatic tonic that is also stomachic and emmenagogue[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
1942
Title
The Medicinal and Poisonous Sedges of India
Publication
The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Vol 38 No. 1 pp 163-170 1936
Author
Caius J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It was at one time considered to be a good stomachic and useful in the first stages of dropsy, but it has now fallen into disuse[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

An enema prepared from the tuber has been used as a treatment for children with stomach troubles[
1942
Title
The Medicinal and Poisonous Sedges of India
Publication
The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Vol 38 No. 1 pp 163-170 1936
Author
Caius J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

The leaves are used in basketry and for weaving hats, matting etc[
100
Title
Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1969
ISBN
0192176218
Description
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
].

The root and stem have the scent of violets and are used in perfumery[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
]. The aroma becomes more pronounced when the root has been dried and left to age[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

A fibre obtained from the plant is used in paper making[
100
Title
Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1969
ISBN
0192176218
Description
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18°c[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn. Division is simple at almost any time of the year, so long as the roots are not allowed to become dry. Plant them out straight into their permanent positions.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-11. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cyperus+longus>

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