Yellow nutsedge

Cyperus esculentus L.

Life cycle

Rhizomatous perennial sedge.

yellow nutsedge patch
Patch of yellow nutsedge.

Leaves

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

yellow nutsedge seedling
Yellow nutsedge seedling.

Stems

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.

yellow nutsedge stem
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 seedhead
Yellow nutsedge seedhead.

Reproduction

Tubers, rhizomes and, very rarely, seeds.

Print a PDF of this page: Yellow nutsedge

Back to identifying nursery weeds.

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.