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Common Name
Umbrella Sedge

Hawaiian Name
Pu'uka'a

Scientific Name
Cyperus sp.


Pictures

Kalama

 

Whole Plant

Leaves

Roots

Flowers



Location On Campus

This plant is found in both gardens by Keawe and Kalama on the KMS campus.

Natural Habitat

This plant is usually found by ponds or wet slopes (swamp or marsh) in Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, Moloka'i, Lana'i, Hilo, and Kona.


Cultural Information

 This plant is endemic to Hawai'i which means that this plant is only found in Hawai'i. When woven tightly together, it can be made into a mat which the Hawaiians used for various uses such as sitting on, sleeping on, etc. Hawaiians also used its fibers for various reasons.



Plant Description

Roots:

  • Fibrous root
  • Light, small, and thin

Stem:

  • Short and solid

Leaves:

  • Simple leaf that are channeled with "toothed" margins
  • Green with its sheaths yellowish in color
  • Grows long and upward
  • Ventral side is reddish brown

Flowers:

  • Yellowish brown in color
  • Small and unisexual
  • Style is slender
  • The flower is flat topped or domed shaped

Fruit:

  • Also called achenes
  • Dark brown and are about 0.15 cm

Seeds:

  • Small and brown in color
  • Looks somewhat tangled in a "nest"
  • Bundled together
  • Light and drifts easily

Pollinators:

  • Dispersed by wind
  • Light and drift easily

Life Cycle/
Reproduction:

  • Lives at least three seasons (perennial)
  • Are unisexual (one sex)
  • Needs another plant of opposite sex to reproduce

Propagation/
Cultivation:

  • Clumps of the plant can be divided in the Spring
  • Flower heads that are cut off and float upside down can form new plants

Interesting facts:

  • There are 3,000 species of sedges

References

Cyperus. Botany.com. 12 March. 2003 <http://www.botany.com/cyperus.html>

Neal, Marie C. In Gardens of Hawaiÿi. Honlulu:Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 1965.

 Wagner, W. L.; Herbst, D.R.; Sogmer, S.H. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i and Bishop Museum Press. 1999.

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