Cyperus malaccensis Lamk

Cyperus malaccensis Lamk




Cyperus monophyllos Vahl, Cyperus spaniophyllus Steud., Chloro­cyperus malaccensis (Lamk) Palla.

Vernacular Names


Selimbu, menderong darat (Peninsular).


Chinese mat grass.


Bundung (southern Kalimantan), dareng­deng (Sundanese), pea-pea (Sulawesi).


Balangot (general), baga-as (Panay Bisaya), talaid (Bagobo).


Yaa saam liam (Bangkok).


C[os]i, c[aa]y c[os]i, [as]c.

Geographical Distributions

Cyperus malaccensis originates in Asia, is dis­tributed from Iraq through India to southern China, northern Australia and Polynesia and is com­mon throughout Southeast Asia. It is cultivated as a matting sedge in northern Sulawesi, the San­gir Islands, and in Brazil.


Cyperus malaccensis is a perennial herb with stout stolons and woody rhizome. The stems are approximate, robust, measuring 60-175 cm x 12-15 mm, spongious, tri­angular with concave sides and smooth.

The lower leaves are reduced to spongious sheaths up to 20 cm long. The upper ones are much shorter than the stem but with small blade which is 5-10(-18) mm wide and abruptly acuminate.

The inflorescence is broader than long and measures about 15 cm in diametre. There are 3-4 involucral bracts which are flat, erect to reflexed, measuring up to 30 cm x 8-15 mm and overtop the inflorescence. There are 3-6(-10) primary rays which are 3-10 cm long, spreading and unequal while the sec­ondary rays are slender and about 2 cm long. The spikes are broadly ovoid in outline with 6-12 spicately arranged spikelets.

The spikelet is subcylindrical, measuring 1-3 cm x 1.2-1.7 cm and with 16-20(-40) flowers. The glumes are chartaceous, ovate to elliptic, measuring up to 2.2 mm x 1.5 mm and indistinctly 5-7-veined. There are 3 stamens and 3 stigmas. The brown-black nut is trigonous-cylindrical and measures about 2 mm x 0.5 mm.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cyperus malaccensis prefers muddy habitats. It is found, often abundantly, in moist habitats, usually within the influence of salt or brackish water (muddy estuaries, mud flats and sandy fore shores covered by spring tides) and of­ten forming a dense fringe vegetation. In Indonesia, C. malaccensis is considered a weed of minor importance in rice fields. It can be controlled by manual weeding.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.17: Fibre plants.