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
Cyperus longus is an evergreen, perennial, grass-like plant with short, rather thick rhizomes; it produces a cluster of culms up to 100cm tall[
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)[
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[
Eurasia - Britain to Spain, east through Turkey and the Caucasua to Arabia, Kazakhstan and India; Africa - most areas
Marshes and the margins of water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, canals and ditches[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
Prefers a moist sandy loam[
]. Succeeds in any good garden soil so long as it does not dry out[
], it also grows well in up to 30cm of water[
A very ornamental plant[
], though it can spread freely at the roots when well-suited[
Galingale was one of the favourite spices of the medieval kitchen and was an ingredient of 'pokerounce', a kind of medieval cinnamon toast[
]. 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[
Tuber - used as a spice in soups, pies and sweets[
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[
The root is a bitter aromatic tonic that is also stomachic and emmenagogue[
]. 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[
An enema prepared from the tuber has been used as a treatment for children with stomach troubles[
The leaves are used in basketry and for weaving hats, matting etc[
The root and stem have the scent of violets and are used in perfumery[
]. The aroma becomes more pronounced when the root has been dried and left to age[
A fibre obtained from the plant is used in paper making[
Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist[
]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18°c[
]. 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.