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CYPERUS CONGLOMERATUS/ Dune Grass

Scientific Name: Cyperus conglomeratus

Local Name: Thenda

Common Name: Dune grass

ufted perennial, 4-30 cm. Rhizome short, producing tillers; roots tomentose (rhizo-sheath). Stem 1-2.5 mm diam., obtusely trigonous or terete, stiff, smooth or shallowly papillose, base sometimes slightly swollen. Leaves up to as long as the stem; sheaths 10-120 mm, stiff, yellow brown to dark brown, disintegrating into fibres, mouth margin concave; ligule 0; blades channelled, stiff, margins scabrous, apex acute or obtuse, scabrous. Inflorescence from a single spike to a small anthelodium; bracts longer than spike, foliose; spikes 7-20, c. 2-4 mm, compressed to almost terete, with glumes closely imbricating or latter rather lax; glumes cymbiform, mucronate, inner side often reddish, margins scarious. Stamens 3.

 

CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Plantae Phylum Tracheophyta

Class: Liliopsida

Order: Poales

Family: Cyperaceae

Genus: Cyperus L.

Species: Cyperus conglomeratus Rottb.

Subspecies: Cyperus conglomeratus subsp. conglomeratus

 

Morphology

Tufted plant with woolly root

Pale, papery leaf sheaths

Spherical clusters of generally pale spikelets

Stiff leaves and bracts

 

Ecology

Sandy places.

 

Habitat and Distribution:

Sandy places, including sand dunes. Quickly colonizes disturbed ground, drought resistant. It is one of the few plants that colonize the mobile dunes of the interior desert. Very common and widespread in UAE

 

Parts Used:

Rhizome, aerial parts

 

Traditional and Medicinal Use:

In alternative medicines, it is believed to be anti-‐microbial, anti-‐malarial, antioxidant, and anti-‐diabetic. Despite the bitter taste of the tubers, they are edible and have nutritional value. The plant is known to have a high amount of carbohydrates. Humans at some point in ancient history ate some parts of the plant. Sedges were traditionally used to make sails, ropes, baskets and mats, and also as fuel.

 

Adaptation:

The seed does not germinate in the temperatures below -‐5 degrees Celsius. Its rhizome tips are strong and sharp and can penetrate hard dry substrates. Dune grass is drought resistant.