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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Tuber - raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder[1][2][3][4][5][6][7].They are also used in confectionery[7]. A delicious nut-like flavour[8][9][7] but rather chewy and with a tough skin[K]. They taste best when dried[10]. They can be cooked in barley water to give them a sweet flavour and then be used as a dessert nut[7]. A refreshing beverage is made by mixing the ground tubers with water, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and ice[7]. The ground up tuber can also be made into a plant milk with water, wheat and sugar[7].

An edible oil is obtained from the tuber. It is considered to be a superior oil that compares favourably with olive oil[7]. The roasted tubers are a coffee substitute[1][4][7].

The base of the plant can be used in salads[7]. (This probably means the base of the leaf stems[K])

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

The tubers contain up to 30% of a non-drying oil, it is used in cooking and in making soap[11][12][13][14]. It does not solidify at 0°c and stores well without going rancid[12]. The leaves can be used for weaving hats and matting etc[15].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Tiger nuts are regarded as a digestive tonic, having a heating and drying effect on the digestive system and alleviating flatulence[16]. They also promote urine production and menstruation[16]. The tubers are said to be aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant and tonic[17][16]. In Ayurvedic medicine they are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, debility and excessive thirst[16].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist[18]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18°c[18]. 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. This is more a matter of harvesting the tubers and replanting them. If this is done in the autumn, then it is best to store the tubers in a cool frost-free place overwinter and plant them out in the spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cyperus esculentus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a moist sandy loam[6][13].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c[19]. The chufa, or tiger nut, is often cultivated for its edible tuber in warm temperate and tropical zones, there is a cultivated variety, var. sativus, that produces larger tubers[20]. We have had lots of problems with growing this cultivated form. Once the tubers come into growth then they normally grow vigorously, but the difficulty is getting them to come into growth. We harvest the tubers in the autumn and store them in moist sand, replanting them in the spring. However, they rarely come into new growth until mid to late summer which gives them too short a growing season to produce much of a crop[K]. We need to find a satisfactory way of storing the tubers and exciting them back into growth[K]. In warmer climates this plant is a serious weed of cultivation. It is much hardier than was once imagined and is becoming a weed in N. America where it is found as far north as Alaska[6]. The tubers are often formed a metre or more away from the plant, especially if it is growing in a heavy clay soil[21].

The tubers are extremely attractive to mice and require protection from them in the winter[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cyperus esculentus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cyperus esculentus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cyperus esculentus
Genus
Cyperus
Family
Cyperaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.77.87.9 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    11. ? 11.011.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Rosengarten. jnr. F. The Book of Edible Nuts. Walker & Co. ISBN 0802707699 (1984-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK. Centre for Agricultural Strategy, Univ. of Reading ISBN 0704909820 (1986-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.316.4 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    21. ? McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)

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    Facts about "Cyperus esculentus"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyCyperaceae +
    Belongs to genusCyperus +
    Has binomial nameCyperus esculentus +
    Has common nameTiger Nut +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Leaves + and Root +
    Has edible useCoffee +, Unknown use + and Oil +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone8 +
    Has imageCyperus esculentus.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useOil + and Weaving +
    Has mature height0.9 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAphrodisiac +, Carminative +, Digestive +, Diuretic +, Emmenagogue +, Stimulant + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageCyperus esculentus.jpg +
    Has search namecyperus esculentus + and tiger nut +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameCyperus esculentus +
    Has water requirementshigh +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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