Nut Grass - Cyperus rotundus
Nut grass, also called Java grass, is one of the most characteristic sedges found on earth. Although Cyperus rotundus does not actually bear fruiting nuts and is completely unrelated to nuts botanically, its characteristic tubers sprout in a shape that superficially resembles one. This grass reaches heights of up to 55 inches, although typical Nut grass will measure only about half of that. Fertile soil is vital to maximizing this plant's size, and although dry soil is preferable, it is almost impossible to mess up the planting area. Nut grass leaves grow in trios from a triangular cross section, and are striated beautifully with white and silver lines that run from the stem to the tip. Characteristic of most sedges, Nut grass produces fleshy white rhizomes that sprout upwards in flowing chains before forming bulbs from which more Nut grass grows. Like many other grasses, Cyperus rotundus can be used as either a compliment to larger plants or as a flowering ground, the beauty of which cannot be understated. Cyperus rotundus has also been referred to as purple sagegrass, due to purple undertones which provide a beautiful highlight to their green bulbs.
Nut grass prefers dry conditions but will tolerate moistness in soil; they are among the hardiest of sedges, often growing in crop fields and flatlands. The tubers are bitter but edible, and serve as an important source of nutrition for many breeds of migrating birds, such as cranes. Their versatility and hardiness has made them an important component in the traditional medicines of regions from China to Sudan. Nut grass will spread quickly and can often be hard to remove once planted, but their usefulness in landscaping and decoration make them a favorite among landscapers who are not concerned about crop development.