Cyper-Grass, or Cyperus, L. a genus of plants producing seventy-nine species, of which the following are the principal :
1. The rotundus, or Round Cy-perus, a native of the East Indies : its imported root is knotty, surrounded with tough, fibrous strings, of a brown colour externally, but grey internally ; and of a pleasant odour, especially when fresh and well dried.
2. The esculentus, or Eatable Cyperus (earth-almonds), growing wild in the East, in Italy, and the South of France. Its pulpy and mealy root is agreeably sweet, not unlike chesnuts, and might be advantageously cultivated in this country, as an occasional substitute for bread.
3. The papyrus, or Paper-Cy-perus, a native of Calabria, Sicily, Syria, and especially of Egypt, on the banks of the Nile. From this noble plant, the ancients manufactured most of their paper, their sail-cloth, mattresses, ropes, nay, even their apparel. Perhaps, we may soon be enabled to import an abundant supply of this valuable vegetable, in British vessels.
4. The longus, or Sweet Cyperus, or English Galingale, a native plant, which is chiefly found on the isle of Purbeck, where it flowers in July. Its root is of the size of an olive, full of little knots or specks, of an obLng figure and grey co-lour} of a warm, somewhat bitter taste; and almost destitute of smell, when newly taken out of the ground.
In medicine, the roots of the first, or round cyperus, as well as those of the English galingale, arc-esteemed cordial, diuretic, and cephalic; they occasionally have afforded relief in nephritic disorders, as also in colics; and may be taken either in powders, or in a decoction. The production of the latter, or native species, however, is at present seldom used ; though we presume it is in no respect in -ferior to some of the more costly medicines imported into this country.