Yellow nutsedge

Cyperus esculentus L. Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Life cycle

Rhizomatous perennial sedge.

patch of yellow nutsedge
Patch of yellow nutsedge.


Yellowish green, shiny, grass-like leaves are long and narrow to a sharp point with distinct ridging along the midvein. Leaves are mostly basal and alternate, pointing outward from the stem in three directions.

yellow nutsedge seedling
Yellow nutsedge seedling.


Erect, solid, up to 3-foot-tall stems are triangular in cross-section. Plants spread by wiry, scaly rhizomes and nutlike tubers produced at the rhizome tips.

triangular stem of yellow nutsedge
Triangular stem of yellow nutsedge.

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead consists of numerous yellowish brown spikelets, which occur in a terminal, umbrella-like cluster. Under each seedhead is a whorl of several long, leaf-like bracts. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, three-angled, yellowish brown fruit with a blunt end.

yellow nutsedge seedling
Yellow nutsedge seedhead.


Tubers, rhizomes and, very rarely, seeds.

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