SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyperus
COMMON NAME(S): Sedges, papyrus
FAMILY: CYPERACEAE - Sedge family
ORIGIN: Worldwide, except coldest regions, about 600 spp.
HABITAT: Lawns, fields, meadows, disturbed areas, chiefly moist areas, a few cultivated, many noxious weeds
HEIGHT: Variable, but generally under 6"
CHARACTERISTICS: Stems usually tufted, 3-angled, round or winged
LEAVES: Alternate, narrow, grass-like
FLOWERS: Small, clustered in spikelets arranged in clusters or umbrella-like, frequently with leafy bracts at the base
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer, fall
FRUITS: A small nutlet
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Pollen allergens
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Respiratory
COMMENTS: The sedges are ubiquitous weeds of moist to wet soil throughout North America, and frequent lawn invaders. Pollen of the introduced C. esculentus L. (chufa or yellow nutsedge) in particular has been implicated in pollinosis. The relatively small number of reports of allergenicity may be a factor of low exposure rather than low reactivity. At least 3 dozen species of Cyperus occur in the southeastern United States.