Long on beauty and history, papyrus has been known and used by Man for millennia. Soft green clouds of papyrus lined the Nile River during the time of the pharaohs. The infant Moses was found among the bulrushes. Ancient Egyptians kept records of their pyramid building activities on papyrus sheets, from which we get the word "paper." Today papyrus is appreciated for its beauty and is often used in ornamental landscapes. Like other sedges, the stem is triangular in cross section, and contains a white pith. Strips of this pith are soaked in water, then pounded together and dried to create paper. The stems can grow to a height of 10' and can form great clumps. They are topped by feathery clusters of wiry 12" leaves.
LocationPapyrus is native to the lakes and rivers of northern Africa, in particular, the countries of Egypt and Sudan. It is now a popular landscape plant, gracing fishponds and pools in frostfree areas around the world!
CulturePapyrus stems grow in great masses in shallow water and wet soils. They spread quickly and extensively. They are less enthusiastic in poorer soils, and more polite about staying in bounds. Light: Papyrus will do well in sun or partial shade. Moisture:Likes wet boggy soil. Will grow in standing water. Hardiness:USDA Zones 9 - 11. Papyrus is a tender perennial, but it can be grown in Zone 8. Freezing temperatures will kill the top, but the plant will recover if the roots are mulched or are under water. Propagation: The plant is easy to propagate; just divide the clumps. The stems tend to die out in the center of the clump to give a messy, unkempt look. Dig, divide and start new clumps to restore attractiveness.
Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
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