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yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
ODA rating: B
 
USDA Symbol: CYES
Oregon yellow nutsedge distribution
 
Other common names
Chufa, chufa flatsedge, yellow nutgrass, swampgrass, coco, coco-nut, earth-almond, northern nutgrass, rush nut, tiger nut.
 
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Images courtesy of Joel Felix, Oregon State University.

 
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
 
Description
Perennial sedge; grows 6 to 30 inches tall. Three-ranked leaves and triangular pithy stems. True leaves grow from base while long leaf-like bracts radiate out just below the umbrella-like flower cluster. Leaves and stems shiny. Spikelets yellowish-brown and borne on the ends of branches of unequal lengths. Can spread by seeds, roots, or by small underground nutlets that may lie dormant in the soil for several years. Seed production is insigificant to reproduction and spread of yellow nutsedge in cultivated fields. A single plant can produce seven to nine tubers at the end of rhizomes.
 
Impacts
Yellow nutsedge is adaptable to a wide range of climates and habitats and has invaded cultivated agriculture lands throughout North America. It prefers moist soils, and is most troublesome in onions, sugar beets, gardens, and ornamentals.
 
Introduction
Cyperus esculentus L. dates back to at least the fifth millennium BC in the Neolithic age and is thought to be the third most ancient domesticated foodstuff of ancient Egypt. The tubers were also used medicinally, taken orally, as an ointment, or as an enema, and used in fumigants to sweeten the smell of homes or clothing (Darby et al. 1977). Yellow nutsedge initially became established in North America in the southeastern United States. The U.S. patent office imported cultivated chufa tubers as a potential vegetable crop in 1854, and this may have been a source of weedy tubers as well (Bartlett1889). The weed spread northward and west to become a common pest throughout the continental United States and Hawaii, Mexico, and eastern Canada in the last 50 years and also extends northward along the Pacific coast to Alaska(Britton and Brown 1913; Holm 1991b;Mulligan and Junkins 1976;Stoller 1981).
 
Distribution in Oregon


 
Biological controls
There are no approved biological control agents available.