Plants: Cyperus alternifolia - Umbrella Plants

Posted by 08.06. 2007 06:50:19 (16132 readers)

Umbrella plant is a close cousin of the papyrus plant of ancient Egypt, which it resembles. Like papyrus, it also forms clumps in wet and boggy areas, although it will thrive in drier situations as well. Also like papyrus, all the leaves are arranged atop triangular stems. But while papyrus has 12" wiry leaves, those of umbrella plant are narrow and flattened and only 6" to 10" long. They are symmetrically arranged around the stem in a disk, resembling the petals on a daisy. Small greenish flowers grow at the center of the disk. As the small fruits form they change to golden and then dark brown. This sedge will grow to about 5' or 6' in height under good conditions. Umbrella plant will be smaller when grown in drier or less fertile soils.

Cyperus alternifolia - Umbrella Plants

Location
This tender perennial is native to moist boggy areas and lake and river margins on the island Madagascar (Malagasy Republic) and in the Philippines. Culture
Can easily be grown in good garden soil.
Light: Sun or shade. In bright sun, clumps will be compact and the stems closely packed. Under shady conditions clumps will grow higher and be composed of fewer stems giving a more graceful aspect.
Moisture: Umbrella plant is happy growing in shallow water but can also handle drier situations (like in your perennial bed.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 9-11. This is a tender perennial. Frost will kill back foliage but the plant will recover if the root mass is not frozen.
Propagation: Divide clumps to propagate. An easy way to get more plants is to simply place an "umbrella" in wet sand. New plants will begin to grow from it within a few weeks.

Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
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