Cyperus rotundus L.

Last updated: 12 May 2015

Scientific Name

Cyperus rotundus L.


Chlorocyperus rotundus (L.) Palla, Chlorocyperus salaamensis Palla, Cyperus agrestis Willd. ex Spreng. & Link, Cyperus arabicus Ehrenb. ex Boeckeler, Cyperus bicolor Vahl, Cyperus bifax C.B.Clarke, Cyperus bulbosostoloniferus Miq., Cyperus comosus Sm., Cyperus disruptus C.B.Clarke, Cyperus elongatus Sieber ex Kunth [Illegitimate], Cyperus herbicavus Melliss, Cyperus hexastachyos Rottb., Cyperus hildra Poir., Cyperus hydra Michx., Cyperus inconspicuus Gennari [Illegitimate], Cyperus laevissimus Steud., Cyperus leptostachyus Griff., Cyperus longus Boeckeler [Illegitimate], Cyperus merkeri C.B.Clarke, Cyperus micreilema Steud., Cyperus nubicus C.B.Clarke, Cyperus ochreoides Steud., Cyperus officinalis Nees ex Godr. [Invalid], Cyperus oliganthus Gand., Cyperus olivaris O.Targ.Tozz., Cyperus pallescens Poir. [Illegitimate], Cyperus pallescens Boiss. [Illegitimate], Cyperus patulus M.Bieb. [Illegitimate], Cyperus platystachys Cherm., Cyperus procerulus Nees, Cyperus proteinolepis Boeckeler [Illegitimate], Cyperus pseudovariegatus Boeckeler, Cyperus purpureovariegatus Boeckeler, Cyperus radicosus Sm., Cyperus retzii Nees [Illegitimate], Cyperus rubicundus Willd. ex Link [Illegitimate], Cyperus rudioi Boeckeler, Cyperus taylorii C.B.Clarke, Cyperus tenuifolius Walp. [Spelling variant], Cyperus tetrastachyos Desf., Cyperus tuberosus Rottb., Cyperus viridis Roxb. ex C.B.Clarke [Invalid], Cyperus weinlandii Kük., Cyperus yoshinagae Ohwi, Pycreus rotundus (L.) Hayek, Schoenus tuberosus Burm.f. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Teki, rumput haliya hitan [2]
English Purple nut grass, purple nut sedge [2]
Indonesia Teki (General); mota (Madura); karelawai (Sumba) [2]
Thailand Yaa haeo muu, yaa khon muu (General) [2]
Laos Hèwz hmu [2]
Myanmar Monhnyin-bin [2]
Philippines Mutha (Tagalog); ahos-ahos (Bisaya); boto-botones (Bikol) [2]
Cambodia Krâva:nh chru:k [2]
Vietnam C[ur] g[aas]u, h[uw] [ow]ng ph[uj] [2]
France Souchet rond [2]

Geographical Distributions

Cyperus 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. [2]

C. rotundus occurs up to 1000 m altitude in open grasslands, roadsides and waste places. It is often a serious pest in cultivated land, e.g. in lowland rice, maize, sugar cane and vegetables. [2]

Botanical Description

C. rotundus comes from the family of Cyperaceae. This perennial herb has long, slender, stout, wiry, dark brown rhizomes giving rise at intervals of 5-25 cm to tubers and forming tuber chains. The tubers are slightly spherical or ellipsoid 0.5-2.5 cm long. It is white and succulent when young and turning into brown-blackish fibres in maturity. [2]

The stem is slender, 15-30(-75) cm long. [2]

The leaves are 2-6 mm wide, flatted, rough to touch on the margins in the upper part. The inflorescence is simple or compound. The ring of bracts are 2-4(-6) and up to 30 cm long. It has 3-9 primary rays, very unequal, up to 10 cm long. A secondary simple indeterminate inflorescence is arranged with 10-40(-100) flowers. It has 3 stamens and stigmas. [2]

The fruit is three-angled, oblong-reverse egg-shaped, brown to black, rarely maturing. [2]

Two subspecies are distinguished: subsp.rotundus and subsp. retzii (Nees) Ktik. Subsp. retzii (synonym: C. retzii Nees) differs from subsp. rotundus by its stouter habit (stem 50-75 cm tall), the somewhat broader secondary simple indeterminate inflorescence (about 2.5 mm wide when ripe) and the paler elliptical-oblong chaffy, two-ranked members of the inflorescence, 3.5-4 mm long. It appears in moist localities, sometimes as a weed. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

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Clinical Data

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No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. rotundus L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Cyperus rotundus L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 May 07]. Available from:
  2. Nguyen Khac Khoi. Cyperus rotundus L. In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 228-229.