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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Cyperus alternifolius

English name: Umbrella plant, umbrella palm

Latin name: Cyperus alternifolius

Family: Sedge - Cyperaceae

Origin: Madagascar

Occurring originally in Madagascar, with time this sedge spread under cultivation, and began to grow wild throughout the entire tropical and subtropical zone. It appears on the banks of rivers and lakes. This perennial evergreen, up to 1.2 metres in height, produces long and slender leaves, like blades of grass gathered in green whorls. Its small flowers, white with shades of green, gather in the bracts in the upper parts of the sprouts. The fruit of this plant is a small nut. The umbrella palm is a popular potted plant, known in common speech by the misleading name “papyrus”.

Cyperus alternifolius