Cyperus rotundus (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cyperus rotundus L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 45 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Purple nut grass, purple nut sedge (En)
  • Souchet rond (Fr)
  • Indonesia: teki (general), mota (Madura), karelawai (Sumba)
  • Malaysia: teki, rumput haliya hitan
  • Philippines: mutha (Tagalog), ahos-ahos (Bisaya), boto-botones (Bikol)
  • Burma (Myanmar): monhnyin-bin
  • Cambodia: krâva:nh chru:k
  • Laos: hèwz hmu:
  • Thailand: yaa haeo muu, yaa khon muu (general)
  • Vietnam: củ gấu, hương phụ.


C. rotundus is thought to originate from Africa. Now it is widely distributed throughout the warmer parts of the world and it is very common all over South-East Asia.


C. rotundus is widely used medicinally for various diseases and complaints (see the genus entry). It is also used as a fodder. The tubers are sometimes eaten. The oil extracted from the tubers was formerly used to make soap.


A perennial herb with long, slender, stout, wiry, dark brown rhizomes giving rise at intervals of 5-25 cm to tubers, forming tuber chains, tubers subglobose or ellipsoid, 0.5-2.5 cm long, white and succulent when young, turning fibrous brown-blackish, stem slender, 15-30(-75) cm long; leaves 2-6 mm wide, flat, scabrid on the margins in the upper part; inflorescence simple or compound, involucral bracts 2-4(-6), up to 30 cm long, primary rays 3-9, very unequal, up to 10 cm long, spikelets spicately arranged, 10-40(-100)-flowered; stamens 3, stigmas 3; fruit trigonous, oblong-obovoid, brown to black, rarely maturing. Two subspecies are distinguished: subsp. rotundus and subsp. retzii (Nees) Kük. Subsp. retzii (synonym: C. retzii Nees) differs from subsp. rotundus by its stouter habit (stem 50-75 cm tall), the somewhat broader spikelets (about 2.5 mm wide when ripe) and the paler elliptical-oblong glumes, 3.5-4 mm long; it appears in moist localities, sometimes as a weed, but never as a pest. Subsp. rotundus occurs up to 1000 m altitude in open grasslands, roadsides and waste places, and is often a serious pest in cultivated land, e.g in lowland rice, maize, sugar cane and vegetables.

Selected sources

72, 202, 350, 414, 580, 597, 614, 664, 722, 757, 761, 930, 1035, 1178, 1315, 1454, 1514, 1533, 1558, 1559, 1563.


  • Nguyen Khac Khoi