A herbaceous plant belonging to the genus of cyperaceae, whose botanical name is cyperus papirus, is commonly called papyrus; in fact hundreds of species belong to this genus, spread throughout most of the globe, adapted to live in humid places, on the edges of slow waterways, or near ponds or swamps. In Italy it is often cultivated as a houseplant, choosing species of African origin, which could not withstand the rigors of winter; There are species that also live in our peninsula in the wild, in the wetlands of the country. They are herbaceous plants, which produce a thick root system, consisting of creeping rhizomes, generally covered by dark bracts, similar to scales; from the rhizomes some thin erect stems develop, which can reach 3-5 meters in height, depending on the species and the climate in which the plants are grown; the stems are rigid, cylindrical or triangular, green in color, and at the apex carry a tuft of bright green leaves (or bracts), flat and ribbon-like or even filiform or triangular. In summer, at the apex of the tuft of leaves, small inflorescences bloom, consisting of green, inconspicuous flowers, followed by small dark seeds.
Species native to northern Africa, it is the best known, whose name is also attributed to most of the other species of cyper; it has thin stems, up to a couple of meters high, and a tuft of thin, filiform, disordered bracts, with a light and feathery appearance. There are dwarf varieties, which do not exceed 25-35 cm in height, highly appreciated especially for pot cultivation. This cypress can bear quite low temperatures, but it fears the frost, especially if intense and prolonged, and above all if the water around the rhizomes has the possibility of freezing completely. This papyrus has become widely naturalized in most of the tropical and subtropical areas of the earth, becoming in some places highly invasive species. In Italy we can see specimens of cyperus papyrus in the wild in good parts of the southern regions. Flowering occurs in summer, and the small flowers are green-brown in color.