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giant flatsedge, Mexican papyrus

Habit Herbs, perennial, rhizomatous, stout.

roundly trigonous, 200–350 cm × 15–50 mm, glabrous.




spikes loosely cylindric, 15–40 × 8–16 mm;

rays 5–8, ascending to erect, stiff,20–30 cm; 2d order rays 5–15 cm;

bracts 10–12, ascending at 30–60°, flat, (8–) 20–45 cm × 4–12 mm; 2d order bracts (5–)15–25 cm × 1.5–5 mm;

rachilla persistent, separating laterally, remaining firmly attached basally, wings 0.3–0.4 mm wide.


(15–)50–80, slightly compressed, linear, ± quadrangular, 5–12 × 0.6–1.4 mm;

floral scales 8–20, appressed, reddish beside 5-ribbed green medial part, white to hyaline near margins, ovate, 1.8–2.2 × 1.2–1.5 mm, apex acute to obtuse.


anthers 0.7–1 mm (connective prolonged beyond anther as red subulate appendage 0.2–0.5 mm, its apex sometimes setose);

styles 0.2–0.5 mm;

stigmas (0.8–)1.2–1.8 mm.


pale brown, sessile, oblong, 0.9–1 × 0.4–0.5 mm, apex scarcely apiculate, surfaces puncticulate.

Cyperus giganteus

Phenology Fruiting summer.
Habitat Stream banks, marshes
Elevation 0–10 m (0–0 ft)
from FNA
LA; TX; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies [Introduced in North America]
[BONAP county map]

Cyperus giganteus was erroneously reported from Florida, a misidentification of C. papyrus (R. R. Haynes and A. Lasseigne 1969).

Recently, some nurseries specializing in water plants have begun to offer C. giganteus under the name “Mexican papyrus.” Escaped cultivated plants may be expected in southeastern and southwestern United States.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 23, p. 173.
Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Cyperus > subg. Cyperus
Sibling taxa
C. acuminatus, C. aggregatus, C. alopecuroides, C. amabilis, C. articulatus, C. bipartitus, C. cephalanthus, C. compressus, C. croceus, C. cuspidatus, C. dentatus, C. dentoniae, C. diandrus, C. difformis, C. digitatus, C. dipsaceus, C. distans, C. distinctus, C. drummondii, C. echinatus, C. elegans, C. entrerianus, C. eragrostis, C. erythrorhizos, C. esculentus, C. fendlerianus, C. filicinus, C. filiculmis, C. filiformis, C. flavescens, C. flavicomus, C. floribundus, C. fugax, C. fuligineus, C. fuscus, C. gracilis, C. granitophilus, C. grayi, C. grayoides, C. haspan, C. hermaphroditus, C. houghtonii, C. hypopitys, C. hystricinus, C. involucratus, C. iria, C. laevigatus, C. lancastriensis, C. lanceolatus, C. lecontei, C. lentiginosus, C. ligularis, C. lupulinus, C. manimae, C. microiria, C. mutisii, C. niger, C. ochraceus, C. odoratus, C. onerosus, C. ovatus, C. owanii, C. oxylepis, C. pallidicolor, C. papyrus, C. parishii, C. pilosus, C. planifolius, C. plukenetii, C. polystachyos, C. prolifer, C. prolixus, C. pseudothyrsiflorus, C. pseudovegetus, C. pumilus, C. reflexus, C. refractus, C. retroflexus, C. retrofractus, C. retrorsus, C. rotundus, C. sanguinolentus, C. schweinitzii, C. serotinus, C. seslerioides, C. setigerus, C. spectabilis, C. sphacelatus, C. sphaerolepis, C. squarrosus, C. strigosus, C. surinamensis, C. tetragonus, C. thyrsiflorus, C. virens
Name authority Vahl: Enum. Pl. 2: 364. (1805)
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