Paper Reed

Cyperus papyrus

Cyperus papyrus photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in marshy area near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. January 2014.

From Wikipedia: 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. Greenish-brown flower clusters eventually appear at the ends of the rays, giving way to brown, nut-like fruits. 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".

Cyperaceae -- Sedge Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 16 May 2014