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Plants: Species

Papyrus or Egyptian Paper Reed Cyperus papyrus


Semi-aquatic and up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall, the Egyptian paper reed Cyperus papyrus is the famed plant from which the ancient Egyptians made papyrus for their written records. The stems were cut into thin strips and placed in an overlapping mat, which was pressed together and dried to create the paper-like substance. This reed's feathery top-knots are a profusion of bracts, rather than true leaves, which support the flower clusters at their tips.