Cyperus alternifolius, better known as the Umbrella Plant is a very popular house plant and commonly grown as a marginal pond plant.
Growing to a height of 60cm (24in), the bracts are symmetrically arranged in an umbrella formation and held atop elegant stems that sway with the breeze, giving a tropical touch to the garden.
This lovely and versatile plant is easily grown and makes an excellent ornamental waterside or marginal plant for water gardens.
As an indoor pot plant they are useful for homes and conservatory, or as interior plant for commercial offices, hotels and malls, ideally in containers stood in water. Its fascinating shape makes it a great plant for landscaping, and as an accent plant or informal screen.
As a background plant, it combines well with other foliage plants or flowering plants in garden beds or borders, it can be used an accent plant for added interest and height.
It is impossible to over water the Umbrella Plant as it enjoys damp and boggy conditions, so is ideal for beginners or for any seasoned gardeners remotely interested in water gardens. It can be grown in shallow water of small fish ponds as a water filtration marginal plant.
It makes an excellent tropical water garden centre piece, and can be grown in the pool as an aquatic plant, or around them in the ground as a waterside or bog garden plant.
The tall bracts are also excellent when used in fresh or dried floral arrangements.
Sow on to the surface of moistened seed-sowing compost and cover with the lightest sprinkling of sieved soil.
The seeds need darkness to germinate. Cover the seeds and keep them moist.
Germination should take place in approximately 10 to 12 days at 20 to 24°C (68 to 75°F). Maintain this temperature until the seedlings are established.
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, approx eight weeks after sowing transplant a small clump of seedlings, around 4 to 6 plants into a 8 to 10 cm pot (3 to 4in) after a further eight weeks transplant into bigger pot, 12 to 13 cm (5 to 6in) to grow on. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer. Grow on at 14 to 25°C (57 to 77°F).
Don't let the soil dry out otherwise the plants will react immediately with brown leaf tops.
In the pond the plants grow best when half submerged up to 10cm (4in) on the margins of the pond. Ideally the pots should not be flooded with water. Moderate fertilisation levels are required, but avoid high nitrogen levels.
Divide established clumps to thin and propagate. Over winter these tender plants at around 12 to 15°C (53 to 59F).
House Plants, Beds and borders, Containers, Pools and ponds, Flower arrangements.
Cyperus alternifolius is a native to the islands of Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius. Its cousin is C. papyrus which is native to Africa and the areas around the Nile River, was used in ancient Egypt for paper. It has a proud history serving the needs of mankind. A good majority of all human knowledge has been recorded on paper made from the cultivars of Cyperus Papyrus.
The genus name Cyperus is taken from a Greek word meaning 'sedge'
The species name alternifolius means ‘alternate-leaved’.
The sub species name flabelliformis means ‘shaped like a small fan’.
Cyperus alternifolius ssp. flabelliformis is also known as Cyperus flabelliformis.
There are many common names for this plant, including Umbrella Papyrus, Umbrella Grass, Umbrella Palm, Umbrella Sedge, Umbrella Flatsedge, Umbrella Papyrus, Dwarf Papyrus Grass, Galingale, Baby Tut.
Cyperus alternifolius is one of the approximately 600 species of the genus Cyperus of the sedge family, Cyperaceae. The water plants that make up the Cyperus genus are predominantly tropical.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25mg Average Seed Count 300 Seeds Common Name Umbrella Plant Family Cyperaceae Genus Cyperus Species alternifolius Hardiness Tender Perennial Flowers Flowers are inconspicuous in among the foliage Height 60cm (24in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full sun preferred. Aspect All aspects. Exposed or Sheltered Time to Sow Sow indoors in late Winter to early Spring or in Autumn or direct sow on open ground from March onwards. Germination 7 to 21 days dependent on temperature.