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Cyperus longus - L.

Common Name Galingale
Family Cyperaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats By water in ditches and marshy places[17].
Range Britain and the Mediterranean region north to Lake Geneva.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Cyperus longus Galingale


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Cyperus longus Galingale
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cyperus longus is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 2 m (6ft 7in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses: Condiment

Tuber - used as a spice in soups, pies and sweets[5, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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Aromatic  Tonic

The root is an aromatic tonic[4]. It was at one time considered to be a good stomachic and useful in the first stages of dropsy, but it has now fallen into disuse[4, 238].

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Other Uses

Basketry  Essential  Paper  Weaving

The leaves are used in basketry and for weaving hats, matting etc[100]. The root and stem have the scent of violets and are used in perfumery[4, 46, 61, 245]. The aroma becomes more pronounced when the root has been dried and left to age[245]. A fibre obtained from the plant is used in paper making[100].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist sandy loam[95, 117]. Succeeds in any good garden soil so long as it does not dry out[162], it also grows well in up to 30cm of water[200]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], though it can spread freely at the roots when well-suited[233]. Galingale was one of the favourite spices of the medieval kitchen and was an ingredient of 'pokerounce', a kind of medieval cinnamon toast[183]. It is rarely used at present. Both the root and the stem have a sweet moss-like perfume, resembling that of the violet but not so pure. The aroma becomes more fragrant with age[245].

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist[164]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18°c[164]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Division is simple at almost any time of the year, so long as the roots are not allowed to become dry. Plant them out straight into their permanent positions.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cyperus aristatus Perennial1.5 7-10  LMNMWe20 
Cyperus articulatusJointed flatsedge, Priprioca, PiripiriPerennial1.8 10-12 FLMHNMWeWa142
Cyperus cephalotesBhada, Flat Sedges, Nut Sedges or Umbrella Sedge.Perennial0.3 10-12 FLMHNWeWa012
Cyperus distansSlender Cyperus, Piedmont flatsedgePerennial0.5 0-0  LMNMWe11 
Cyperus esculentusTiger Nut, Yellow nutsedge, Nut GrassPerennial0.9 8-10 FLMHNMWe423
Cyperus fendlerianusFendler's FlatsedgePerennial1.5 -  LMNMWe20 
Cyperus giganteusPiripiri, Mexican PapyrusPerennial1.5 9-11 FLMHNWeWa023
Cyperus papyrusPapyrus. Papyrus sedgePerennial5.0 9-12 FLMHNWeWa222
Cyperus rotundusNut GrassPerennial0.6 0-0  LMNMWe332
Cyperus schweinitziiFlatsedge, Schweinitz's flatsedgePerennial0.8 0-0  LMNMWe20 
Cyperus setigerusLean flatsedgePerennial1.0 0-0  LMNMWe20 
Cyperus tegetiformis Perennial0.0 -  LMNMWe00 
Cyperus textilisFlat sedge, Basket grass,Perennial1.5 9-12 FLMHFSNMWeWa004
Cyperus ustulatus Perennial1.2 -  LMNMWe00 

 

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