Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Cyperus esculentus
yellow nut-grass

Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Washington; widespread throughout North America.

Habitat: Moist, low ground along streams and ditches, but sometimes in drier ground.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous, sweet-scented perennial, the sharply triangular, solid stems 1-7 dm. tall, arising singly from slender rhizomes that terminate in small tubers.


Leaves grass-like, clustered at the base, the elongate blade 3-8 mm. wide, the sheaths closed; involucre bracts elongate, unequal, sometimes longer than the leaves.


Spikelets in open, cylindric spikes, the terminal spike or cluster of spikes sessile, the others single or in small groups on rays up to 7 cm. long; spikelets slender, 0.5-5 cm. long and 1-2 mm. wide; scales of the spikelets in two vertical rows, 2.5-3 mm. long, several nerved, broad and overlapping laterally, but not closely set; perianth none; stamens 3; style trifid.


Achenes unequally triangular, 1.3-2 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Cyperus esculentus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 45. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. leptostachyus – yellow nutgrass
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cyperus esculentus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Cyperus esculentus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Cyperus esculentus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Cyperus esculentus photos.

USDA Plants: Cyperus esculentus information.

21 photographs:
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