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American Galingale

Cyperus eragrostis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Cyperaceae (Sedge)
Also in this family:
Birdsfoot Sedge, Black Alpine Sedge, Black Bog-rush, Bladder Sedge, Bog Sedge, Bottle Sedge, Bristle Club-rush, Bristle Sedge, Broad-leaved Cotton-grass, Brown Beak-sedge, Brown Bog-rush, Chestnut Rush, Close-headed Alpine Sedge, Club Sedge, Common Club-rush, Common Cotton-grass, Common Sedge, Common Spike-rush, Curved Sedge, Deergrass, Dioecious Sedge, Distant Sedge, Divided Sedge, Dotted Sedge, Downy-fruited Sedge, Dwarf Sedge, Dwarf Spike-rush, Estuarine Sedge, False Fox Sedge, False Sedge, Few-flowered Sedge, Few-flowered Spike-rush, Fibrous Tussock Sedge, Fingered Sedge, Flat Sedge, Flea Sedge, Floating Club-rush, Gingerbread Sedge, Glaucous Sedge, Great Fen Sedge, Greater Pond Sedge, Greater Tussock Sedge, Green-ribbed Sedge, Grey Club-rush, Grey Sedge, Hair Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Haresfoot Sedge, Hare's-tail Cotton-grass, Heath Sedge, Hop Sedge, Large Yellow Sedge, Lesser Pond Sedge, Lesser Tussock Sedge, Long-bracted Sedge, Many-stalked Spike-rush, Mountain Bog Sedge, Needle Spike-rush, Northern Deergrass, Northern Spike-rush, Oval Sedge, Pale Sedge, Pendulous Sedge, Perennial Sedge, Pill Sedge, Prickly Sedge, Remote Sedge, Rock Sedge, Round-headed Club-rush, Russet Sedge, Salt Sedge, Sand Sedge, Scorched Alpine Sedge, Sea Club-rush, Sheathed Sedge, Slender Club-rush, Slender Cotton-grass, Slender Sedge, Slender Spike-rush, Slender Tufted Sedge, Smooth-stalked Sedge, Soft-leaved Sedge, Spiked Sedge, Spring Sedge, Star Sedge, Starved Wood Sedge, Stiff Sedge, String Sedge, Sweet Galingale, Tall Bog Sedge, Tawny Sedge, Thin-spiked Wood Sedge, Triangular Club-rush, True Fox Sedge, Tufted Sedge, Water Sedge, White Beak-sedge, White Sedge, Wood Club-rush, Wood Sedge, Yellow Sedge
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Fields, waterside, wetland.

Green, no petals
Tough looking, pale greenish-yellow spikelets. The rounded flower clusters are smaller than the similar looking Sweet Galingale (Cyperus longus). Sweet Galingale also has brown flowers.
The fruit is a 3-parted nutlet.
An evergreen, perennial, clump-forming sedge. Mid-green, long, thin and pointed leaves that are V-shaped in cross-section.
Other Names:
Chufa, Earth Almond, Edible Galingale, Nutgrass, Pale Galingale, Purple Nutsedge, Tall Flatsedge, Tall Nutgrass, Umbrella Sedge, Zula Nuts.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Cyperus eragrostis, also known as purple nutsedge, is a species of flowering plant in the Cyperaceae family. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, but is now found throughout much of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. It is a perennial, rhizomatous herb that typically grows to between 30-100 cm in height. It has triangular stems, and the leaves are long, thin and grass-like. The inflorescence is a cylindrical spike of small, inconspicuous brownish-green or purplish flowers. The plant blooms in summer and fall.

This species is considered as a noxious weed in many areas, particularly in crop fields, as it's known to be a difficult-to-control weed that competes with agricultural crops for water, nutrients, and light. It also invades natural habitats and outcompetes native plant species. Control methods include cultural, chemical, and biological methods, it's important to follow the laws and regulations regarding its management or eradication.


American galingale, also known as Cyperus eragrostis, is a perennial plant that belongs to the sedge family. It is native to North America and can be found in wetlands, swamps, and other wet habitats throughout the eastern United States. The plant has a unique appearance and several practical uses, making it a valuable asset in various contexts.


American galingale grows to be approximately 1-3 feet tall and has a slender, grass-like appearance. The plant has long, narrow leaves that can reach up to 2 feet in length and 1/2 inch in width. The stem of the plant is typically triangular, and it produces small flowers that bloom in the summer months.

The plant thrives in moist soil and is well-suited for wetland habitats. It is a hardy species that can tolerate both drought and flooding, making it a useful species in areas that experience fluctuating water levels.


Historically, American galingale has been used by indigenous peoples for a variety of purposes. For example, the plant's roots were boiled and consumed as a medicinal tea to treat various ailments, including digestive issues and fever. The plant's fibrous leaves were also used to make cordage and baskets.

In contemporary times, American galingale has several practical applications. The plant is often used in wetland restoration projects as it can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Its ability to tolerate both drought and flooding also makes it a useful species in water management and conservation efforts.

Additionally, American galingale is used in landscaping and horticulture. The plant's unique appearance and hardiness make it an attractive addition to wetland gardens and other landscapes that require plants that can thrive in moist soil.


American galingale is an important species to conserve as it plays a critical role in wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are vital habitats that provide numerous ecological services, including water purification, flood control, and carbon storage. However, wetlands are also among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet, with many species facing extinction due to habitat loss and degradation.

Efforts to conserve American galingale and other wetland species can help preserve these important ecosystems and the many benefits they provide. Wetland restoration projects that incorporate American galingale can help stabilize soil, prevent erosion, and promote biodiversity.

Other General Information about American Galingale

American galingale is an important food source for various wildlife species, including waterfowl, mammals, and invertebrates. The plant's roots, seeds, and foliage provide valuable nutrients and habitat for these animals. In addition to its ecological importance, American galingale also has cultural significance. The plant has been used in traditional Native American medicine and is considered a sacred plant in some indigenous cultures.

The cultivation of American galingale can also have economic benefits. The plant's fibrous leaves can be used to create a durable, sustainable paper product. The plant's roots can also be used to make a natural dye, and the seeds are edible and can be ground into a flour substitute.

Despite its many benefits, American galingale is facing threats from habitat loss and degradation. Wetlands are often drained and developed for agriculture, urbanization, and other uses, resulting in the loss of critical habitat for wetland species like American galingale. Climate change is also impacting wetland ecosystems, with rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns affecting the distribution and abundance of wetland species.

Conservation efforts to protect wetland ecosystems and the species that depend on them are critical to preserving the many benefits these habitats provide. This includes efforts to protect and restore wetlands, reduce pollution and habitat fragmentation, and increase public awareness of the importance of wetlands and the species that depend on them.

One of the threats to American galingale and other wetland species is the invasion of non-native plant species. Non-native plants can outcompete native species for resources, alter the composition of wetland communities, and disrupt ecosystem functions. Therefore, controlling invasive species is an important component of wetland conservation efforts.

Another challenge for the conservation of American galingale and other wetland species is the lack of public awareness of the importance of wetlands. Many people view wetlands as wastelands or areas to be drained and developed, rather than recognizing their ecological, cultural, and economic value. Raising awareness about the benefits of wetlands and the need for their conservation is essential to ensure that wetland ecosystems and the species that depend on them are protected and valued.

In addition to conservation efforts, scientific research can also provide valuable insights into the ecology and biology of American galingale and other wetland species. Understanding the factors that influence the distribution, abundance, and persistence of wetland species can inform management and restoration strategies and help to ensure the long-term conservation of these important ecosystems.

In conclusion, American galingale is a valuable species with many ecological, cultural, and economic benefits. Wetlands are critical ecosystems that provide numerous services, and protecting them and the species that depend on them is essential for maintaining the health and wellbeing of both people and the planet. By raising awareness, conducting research, and implementing conservation strategies, we can ensure that American galingale and other wetland species continue to thrive for generations to come.