Friday, January 2, 2009

Cyperus sphaerocephalus-a flowering sedge

This delightful plant is quite common in the grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. I brought back some plants while I worked at the NYBG and also got seed from Silverhill. From seed of one of them I grew out this plant, which flowered this year with bright yellow clustered spikelets. My photo does not really do it justice, but its all I have for now, next season I hope to get more pics. It used to be C. obtusiflorus ssp flavissimus, but I am going with what Elsa Pooley calls it in her wonderful, and for me indispensible, "Mountain Flowers" field guide to flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. C. sphaerocephalus is semidormant during the winter, and will grow and flower during the summer, as would be expected of most flowers native to its area of South Africa. It likes moisture, especially when it is actively growing, and should never go really dry, as far as I can tell.

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