Cyperus strigosus L.
Cyperus hansenii Britton
Cyperus stenolepis Torr.
Cyperus strigosus L. var. capitatus Boeckeler
Cyperus strigosus L. var. multiflorus Geise
Cyperus strigosus L. var. robustior Britton
Cyperus strigosus L. var. stenolepis (Torr.) Kük.
Straw-colored Flatsedge, False Nutsedge
Straw-colored flatsedge is native to the United States, Cuba, and Canada. It prefers cultivated or disturbed soils such as fields and roadsides, pond shores and ditches. It prefers soils that are at least seasonally wet. It pops up in my lawn, growing about three times faster than the surrounding grass.
Plants: 4½-28" (12-70 cm) in height, with a stem (culm) that is triangular in cross-section. The culm is topped by inflorescences, branching clusters of linear spikes, like straw-colored bottle brushes. The clusters are 2-5" (5-12 cm) across. 3-8 leafy bracts 2-10" (5-25 cm) long extend from the base of the inflorescence, resembling grass blades like the other leaves. The base of the plant is hard, edible bulb, with a purplish sheath.
Leaves: Grasslike, with flat or with rolled edges, 4-18" (10-45 cm) × ¹/₃₂-¼" (1-8 mm) wide.
Flowers: Each floral spike is ¾-2" (1.9-5 cm) long, and contains 30-80 flattened spikes, each ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2.4 mm) long.
Fruits: The floral spikes atop the plant are the fruits and flowers. Each fruit (a “tine” of the brush) is a seed ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2.4 mm) long, surrounded by scales. Fruits are triangular in cross-section.
Edibility: Tubers are edible, raw or cooked, said variously to taste like Vick’s VapoRub or “pleasantly nutty,” becoming milder-tasting with drying.
Medical: Folk medicine remedies based on this species are numerous, but they have not been confirmed with formal studies.
Cyperus strigosus at Illinois Wildflowers
Cyperus strigosus at Minnesota Wildflowers
Cyperus strigosus on Wildflowers of the United States
Cyperus strigosus on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org
Cyperus strigosus on Discover Life
Cyperus strigosus on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource
Cyperus strigosus on eFloras
Arsenault, Matt; Mittelhauser, Glen H.; Cameron, Don; Dibble, Alison C.; Haines, Arthur; Rooney, Sally C.; and Weber, Jill E., Sedges of Maine: A Field Guide to Cyperaceae, University of Maine Press, 2013, p. 546
Cyperus strigosus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.