YELLOW NUT GRASS
File Size: 109 KB
 
Cyperus esculentus  L.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6-30 inches
Family: Cyperaceae - Sedge Family
Flowering Period:   July, August
Also Called: Yellow nutsedge, chufa flatsedge.
Culms: Erect, stout, strongly 3-sided, solid, glabrous, waxy.
Leaves: Mostly basal, crowded, 3-ranked, 3 to 32 inches long, mostly 1/8 to 2/5 inch wide, pale green, glabrous.
Inflorescences: Compound umbel, 1-several nearly sessile spikes, 1-10 rays, terminal; subtended by 3-10 involucral bracts, leaf-like, 1 or more longer than inflorescence; spikes mostly cylindrical; spikelets 8-25 per spike, radiating or ascending.
Spikelets: Slender, .25 to 1.5 inches long, less than .1 inch wide, 8- to 20-flowered, flattened, golden brown; scales overlapping, several-nerved; tips blunt to pointed; stamens 3, styles 3-cleft.
Fruits: Achenes 3-angled, narrowly oblong-obovoid, brownish.
Habitat: Found in cultivated fields, ditches, lawns, wet prairies, waste areas, and along stream and lake edges; moist soils.
Distribution: Occurs throughout Kansas but is encountered more frequently in the east 3/4.
Origin: Introduced from Eurasia.
Uses: Native Americans and pioneers used the tuber-like thickenings on the roots as a food source. Indians in the Southwest chewed the roots to treat coughs and applied the chewed roots to snakebites. Ducks, wild turkeys, deer, and muskrats eat the tuber-like nutlets.
Comments: "Nut" refers to tuber-like thickenings or nutlets on the rhizomes. Yellow nut grass can be a problem weed. It grows aggressively via rhizomes, making it difficult to control.

Yellow nut grass spikelets
83 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Yellow nut grass spikelets
81 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Yellow nut grass inflorescence
108 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Yellow nut grass
158 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Yellow nut grass leaves
127 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas