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Yellow nutsedge identification and control: Cyperus esculentus

Yellow nutsedge identification and control

Cyperus esculentus


Yellow nutsedge, a regulated Class B noxious weed, is a perennial sedge with glossy, triangular stems that reach 6-30 inches tall. Most leaves grow from the base and are as long as, or longer than, the stem. Straw-colored to golden brown seed heads are surrounded by a whorl of leaf-like bracts. This plant reproduces by seeds, rhizomes, corn-like basal buds, or tubers. The latter are the main means of spread. A single plant can form several thousand tubers per season. Dormant nutlets over-winter in soil. Individual tubers contain numerous buds and can sprout several times before the food reserves are gone.

History and impact

This plant is an extremely competitive invader of both cultivated and uncultivated lands, and is very difficult to control. As a Class B noxious weed, control is required in King County. For more information about noxious weed regulations and definitions, see Noxious weed lists and laws.

Yellow nutsedge seed heads

Additional information on yellow nutsedge

What to do if you find this plant in King County, Washington

Please notify us if you see yellow nutsedge growing in King County. Our program staff can provide the property owner or appropriate public agency with site-specific advice on how best to remove it. Also, because yellow nutsedge is not established in King County, we have an opportunity to stop it from spreading if we act quickly. We map all known locations of regulated noxious weeds such as yellow nutsedge in order to help us and others locate new infestations in time to control them.

Report yellow nutsedge in King County, Washington

Locate yellow nutsedge in King County, Washington

Related information

Related agencies

Program offices are located at 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104. To contact staff, see the Noxious Weed Control Program Directory, send an email, or call 206-477-WEED (206-477-9333).