Dwarf papyrus

Cyperus prolifer -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Cyperus prolifer

Non-Native to Florida

dwarf papyrus

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CATEGORY II on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's (FLEPPC) 2013 List of Invasive Plant Species

Download a page (PDF 161 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.


    Dwarf papyrus is commonly sold as an ornamental for use in water gardens, similar to papyrus (Cyperus papyrus L.), and false papyrus (Cyperus involucratus Poir.). This species spreads vegetatively, simply by leaning over. New daughter plants grow in the inflorescence; as the new shoots become heavier, the mother plant leans over, eventually reaching the mud whereupon the daughter plants attach, grow and spread.

    In central Florida, this sedge apparently has escaped from cultivation and is found growing in floating mats and along margins of limesink lakes (Wunderlin, 2003).

    Appearance: Herbaceous, perennial. Grows in tufts or clumps; rhizomatous. Culms (stalks/stems) are 20–100 cm (8–39 in) long by 2–6 mm (0.08–0.25 in) wide; soft, glabrous.

    Leaves: Blades reduced to sheath.

    Flowers: Inflorescence rays from 100–250 in number, 5–16 cm (2–6 in) long; spikelets 1–30, linear, ellipsoid, reddish brown.

    Fruit: Achenes brown, obovoid (0.4 x 0.2 mm) surfaces finely reticulate (latticed).

    Ecological threat: FLEPPC Category II – Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species.

    Distribution: C, SW

    Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.

    Download the Recognition Card (PDF 505 KB).


    View the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.

    For brief control information, see Efficacy of Herbicide Active Ingredients Against Aquatic Weeds by K. Langeland, M. Netherland, and W. Haller.