Cyperus esculentus

yellow nutsedge, chufa flatsedge, chufa, yellow nutgrass, nutgrass


Leaf Arrangement

basal (rosulate)

Leaf Type

cauline, simple

Leaf Shape


Growth Form


Flower Color


Flower Month

June - November

Height (meters)

0.1 - 0.9

Milky Sap





introduced, native



Growing Season

Warm season

Wetland Class


Wetland Coefficient of Conservatism


Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

Triangular stem, leaves light yellowish green, spikelets bright yellow, perpendicular to the main stem

Cultural Information

Planting the nutlets (tubers) is the best method of propagation for yellow nutsedge. Dig the nutlets in the spring for best germination, as they appear dormant at other times. Washing with cold water 55 F (13 C), or cold storage at 50 F (10 C) for 1 month, greatly improves germination (Tumbleson and Kommedahl 1961). The nutlets should not be planted more than 2-3" deep. Propagation by seed is also possible but fresh seeds are often dormant. Storage at room temperature for several months allows seeds to after-ripen and viability remained high for up to 3 years (Bell 1962). Stratification at 50 F (10 C) also breaks dormancy. While not necessary for germination, light appears to has a positive effect.

Animal Use

The nutlets are a favorite food of many duck species.

Natural History

"Cache-cache" is the Acadian French term for yellow nutgrass. Coco, as in coco grass, is possibly a corruption and Anglicization of cache-cache. The name cache-cache is also used for the common snipe (Holmes 1990). Yellow nutsedge is a major pest in agricultural fields. The nutlets (tubers) are edible giving this species its specific name "esculentus" which means edible. Chase (1965) reports that the tubers may be collected in the fall or spring and cooked or ground into flour. It is cultivated in Europe for its edible tubers under the name "edible galinale", among others (Medsger 1966). It is locally abundant and weedy in disturbed or unstable loamy soil or moist sand. It is scattered throughout Louisiana and Texas. It is probably adventive in Texas (Correll and Johnston 1979).


Sandy fields, roadsides, and waste places, moist disturbed or unstable sandy or loamy soil, margins of lakes, streams and ditches, wet prairies.