Cyperus papyrus

Cyperus papyrus

Cyperus papyrus or Bulrush is well known for the manufacturing of paper in ancient Egypt, called papyrus. It grows on the banks and in the delta of the river Nile.

It needs swampy conditions, either planted at the bottom of a pond or heavily watered in in soil or a pot.

Not hardy in USDA zone 8 but it’s very elegant appearance and very fast growing rate make this a beautiful addition to a tropical garden, especially one with a pond or water feature.

The name stems from ancient Egypt and means “The King’s flower”.

Common name:

Paper plant


Egypt, banks and delta of the river Nile


USDA Zone 9
Above ground: 5 °C
Below ground: 0 °C
If planted at the bottom of a pond, the feet will be frost free and the plant will grow back next Spring



2-3 m


Sun or semi-shade

Cyperus papyrus

Cyperus papyrus


Sowing or division


2-3 weeks

Sowing instructions:

  • sow in light soil
  • the seeds are very small: soil at the surface and press gently down
  • very humid
  • 20-25 °C


  • when the plant outgrows its pot


  • needs to have its feet in water
  • doesn’t resist drought: the stalks will turn brown and die but new stems can sprout from the base if you didn’t leave the plant dry for too long
  • ample feeding and water will allow the plant too grow very fast
  • prefers sun but will tolerate semi-shade
  • can also be kept as a house-plant if not too close to heating
  • has to be kept out of the frost

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