Cyperus rotundus

Cyperus rotundus





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Teki, rumput haliya hitan.
English Purple nut grass, purple nut sedge.
Indonesia Teki (General), mota (Madura), karelawai (Sumba).
Philippines Mutha (Tagalog), ahos-ahos (Bisaya), boto-botones (Bikol).
Burma(Myanmar) Monhnyin-bin.
Cambodia Krâva:nh chru:k.
Laos Hèwz hmu:.
Thailand Yaa haeo muu, yaa khon muu (General).
Vietnam C[ur] g[aas]u, h[uw] [ow]ng ph[uj].
French Souchet rond.

Geographical Distributions

C. rotundus is thought to originate from Africa. Now it is widely distributed throughout the warmer parts of the world and it is very common allover South-East Asia


This perennial herb has long, slender, stout, wiry, dark brown rhizomes giving rise at intervals of 5-25 cm to tubers and forming tuber chains. The tubers are slightly spherical or ellipsoid 0.5-2.5 cm long. It is white and succulent when young and turning into brown-blackish fibres in maturity. The stem is slender, 15-30(-75) cm long.

The leaves are 2-6 mm wide, flatted, rough to touch on the margins in the upper part. The inflorescence is simple or compound. The ring of bracts are 2-4(-6) and up to 30 cm long. It has 3-9 primary rays, very unequal, up to 10 cm long. A secondary simple indeterminate inflorescence is arranged with 10-40(-100) flowers. It has 3 stamens and stigmas.

The fruit is three-angled, oblong-reverse egg-shaped, brown to black, rarely maturing. Two subspecies are distinguished: subsp. rotundus and subsp. retzii (Nees) Ktik. Subsp. retzii (synonym: C. retzii Nees) differs from subsp. rotundus by its stouter habit (stem 50-75 cm tall), the somewhat broader secondary simple indeterminate inflorescence (about 2.5 mm wide when ripe) and the paler elliptical-oblong chaffy, two-ranked members of the inflorescence, 3.5-4 mm long. It appears in moist localities, sometimes as a weed.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. rotundus occurs up to 1000 m altitude in open grasslands, roadsides and waste places, and is often a serious pest in cultivated land, e.g. in lowland rice, maize, sugar cane and vegetables

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.