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Family Cyperaceae
Cyperus iria Linn.


Scientifric names  Common names
Chlorocyperus iria (L.) Rikli Alinang (Tag., Bik.)
Cyperus chrysomelinus Link Okokiang (Bon.) 
Cyperus diaphaniria Steud. Paiung-paiung (Bik.) 
Cyperus iria Linn. Sud-sud (Bik.) 
Cyperus microlepis Baker Taga-taga (Bik.) 
Cyperus nangtciangensis Pamp. Grasshopper's cyperus ((Engl.)
Cyperus paniciformis Franch. & Sav. Ricefield flatsedge ((Engl.)
Cyperus panicoides Lam. Umbrella sedge ((Engl.)
Cyperus resinosus Hochst. ex Steud.  
Cyperus santonici Rottb.  
Cyperus iria L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Barachucha.
BRAZIL: Tiririca-do-brejo.
CAMBODIA: Kak kangkep.
INDIA: Morphula.
INDONESIA: Babawangan, Dekeng wangin, Nyur-nyuran, Rumput jekeng kungit, Rumput silupak.
JAPANESE: Ko gome gayatsuri.
KOREA: Chambang-donsani.
MALAYSIA: Rumput menderong
NEPAL: Chow, Guchen, Mothey, Ochumani
PORTUGUESE: Junca, Junquinho, Tiririca, Tres-quinas.
THAI: Kok huadaeng, Yaa kok saai, Yaa kok lek, Yaa rangkaa khaao.
VIETNAMESE: C[os]i g[aj]o, Coi gao.

Alinang is a tufted, glabrous annual herb, occasionally perennial, growing to a height of 10 to 70 centimeters. Roots are fibrous, 15 to 75. Stems are sharply 3-angled, tufted, smooth, 5 to 80 centimeters high. Leaves are short and long, 2 to 5 millimeters wide; sheath, reddish or purplish brown, enveloping the stem at the base. Umbels are 3 to 30 centimeters in diameter, the rays long and short, few to many. Spikes are loosely spicate. Spikelets are numerous, yellow or brown, 3 to 10 millimeters long. Glumes are 6 to 20, obovate, hardly imbricate, about 1.2 millimeters long, 3- to 5-angled, oblong ovoid.

- A very common paddy weed in open, wet places.
- A troublesome weed in ricefields.
- Also found in China, Japan and Korea. In South East Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Also in Australia, Fiji, Swaziland, and West Africa. (3)

- Tonic, stimulant, stomachic and astringent.
- Study has shown larvicidal, mosquitocidal property.

Parts utilized
Tubers, leaves.

- Decoction of ground tubers used for fevers.

- Among the Mundas of Chota Nagpur, tuber is ground together with Cyperus rotundus and taken for fever.
- In India, plant is considered tonic, stimulant, stomachic and astringent.
Used for amenorrhea.
- In Vietnam, whole plant used for rheumatism, to regulate menstruation. Rhizomes used as diuretic. (7)
- Crafts: Used for weaving mats.

- Fodder: In Vietnam, sometimes used as fodder. (7)

Larvicidal / Mosquito Control: Study of leaves of six Cyperus species of varying ages were tested on the larvae of yellow fever mosquito. Only Cyperus iria was found to have significant levels of JH III (juvenile hormone III) and suggests a potential for a safe, inexpensive and readily available mosquito larvicidal for the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. (1)
Antioxidant: Study of wetland medicinal plants for antioxidant capacities in the TEAC assay ranged from 7.53 µM to 1753.41 µM Trolox/mg water extract and 5.69 µM to 2074.35 µM Trolox/mg for methanol extracts. C. iria water extract showed 762.94 ±33.80 µM Trolox/mg while the methanol extract showed 769.41 ±53.57 µM Trolox/mg. Study also reports on reducing capacity value, DPPH assay, and total polyphenol contents. (6)
Terpenoids / Antifungal / Leaves: Ricefield flatsedge is a troublesome weed in rice production. Study identified terpenoids as dominant compounds from organic extracts of C. iria leaves, and evaluated the role of terpenoid production in plant development and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. During vegetative growth, total concentration of sesquiterpenoids increased and reached maximum 70 days after germination, then decreased until the emergence of inflorescence. Monoterpenoids were detected from leaves only 90 days after germination. Infestation by beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) promoted the emission of total sesquiterpenoids and induced production of more monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids. Authors discussed the implications of findings on biosynthetic pathways of sesquiterpenoid production and their potential as fungicides. (8)


Updated January 2020 / September 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Line Drawing / Public Domain / Cyperus iria / USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 1: 301. / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
The lethal effects of Cyperus iria on Aedes aegypti
/ A M Schwartz, S M Paskewitz, A P Orth, M J Tesch, Y C Toong, W G Goodman / Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 01/04/1998; 14(1):78-82.

Cyperus iria Linn / The Plant List

Cyperus iria / The Knowledge Bank
Cyperus iria / Synonyms / The Plant List
Cypreus iria / Common names / Invasive Species Compendium
In vitro antioxidant properties and total phenolic contents of wetland medicinal plants in Taiwan / Yu-Ling HO, Shyh-Shyun HUANG, Jeng-Shyan DENG, Yaw-Huei LIN, Yuan-Shiun CHANG, and Guan-Jhong HUANG* / Botanical Studies (2012) 53: pp 55-66
Cyperus iria / PROSEA
Terpenoids from Weedy Ricefield Flatsedge (Cyperus iria L.) Are Developmentally Regulated and Stress-Induced, and have Antifungal Properties / Yifan Jiang, Bonnie H Ownley, Feng Chen / Molecules, 2018; 23(12) / https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123149

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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