Cyperus papyrus L.

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Cyperus papyrus

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 2, Katombora, Zambezi

Cyperus papyrus

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 2, Katombora, Zambezi

Cyperus papyrus

Sioma, Ngonye Falls
Oct 2013
Photo: Mike Bingham

Cyperus papyrus

Kasanka, Fibwe
Nov 1998
Photo: Mike Bingham

Cyperus papyrus

Musola stream at Fibwe, Kasanka National Park
Jul 2013
Photo: K.J. Murphy

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names: Luko (Bemba) Luko (Lunda) Mukuma (Lozi) Papyrus (English: Zambia) Sikama (Lozi)
Frequency: Locally abundant
Status: Native
Very robust perennial sedge, growing from a stout creeping rhizome. Stems triangular to rounded, up to 4 m. Inflorescence "mop-like" with numerous clusters of spikelets.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In permanent swamps, dambos and lake shores, where it may form extensive colonies, and fringing major rivers.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Throughout Africa and the Mediterranean region
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Lp,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 9 May 2017

Fowler, D.G. (2007). Zambian Plants: Their Vernacular Names and Uses, Kew Publishing

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 538. (Includes a picture).

Hoenselaar, K., Verdcourt, B. & Beentje, H.J. (2010). Cyperaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 209 - 210. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 88.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 58. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 119.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 25.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 182.

Other sources of information about Cyperus papyrus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cyperus papyrus
Flora of Caprivi: Cyperus papyrus
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cyperus papyrus
Flora of Malawi: Cyperus papyrus
Flora of Mozambique: Cyperus papyrus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyperus papyrus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cyperus papyrus
African Plant Database: Cyperus papyrus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cyperus papyrus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cyperus papyrus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cyperus papyrus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cyperus papyrus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cyperus papyrus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cyperus papyrus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cyperus papyrus
Plants of the World Online: Cyperus papyrus
Tropicos: Cyperus papyrus
Wikipedia: Cyperus papyrus

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Cyperus papyrus., retrieved 22 February 2024

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