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Cyperus papyrus (Paper Reed)

As long as there’s plenty of light (lack of light can cause them to flop) you can’t go wrong with this. Remember Moses in the Bull Rushes? A wonderfully British Imperialist interpretation. The poor wee chap wasn’t found in the Bull Rushes because Bull Rushes don’t grow on the banks of the Nile but this stuff does. Moses in the Cyperus papyrus, more like. Not only is it a place to find potential prophets floating about, it’s also one of the most widespread plants for paper production. It’s what the ancient Egyptians learned to write on.

Put it in a big container and put the container in a tray and make sure there’s always water in the tray. Remove old, dead, yellow or floppy canes and keep it warm in winter. It’s a sub-tropical plant and would prefer to stay above 5°c. Being a marginal (often growing in water) it’s impossible to over water and we’ve never known it to suffer from any disease or pest. Great stuff.

The bigger the pot, the taller it gets – possibly to 10ft in a monster pot but usually 5 or 6ft. One of the easiest and most stylish plants for indoors that we grow.

Cast your mind back to the closing sequence of The African Queen and the terrible predicament that Rose and Mr Allnut found themselves in. They got in a bit of a pickle with a German Gunboat, a wayward torpedo and a mass of tall greenery on the banks of Lake Victoria. What was the tall greenery? Cyperus papyrus of course!

Propagated by us by division.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

Find out more

Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.