Kyllinga polyphylla Willd. ex Kunth

Etymology Genus After Peter Kylling, a 17th century Danish botanist.
Species Many leaves, likely referring to the numerous involucral bracts surrounding the inflorescence.
Family Cyperaceae
Synonyms Kyllinga aromatica Ridl.
Common Names Greater Kyllinga, Navua Sedge
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Africa, East Africa Islands


Very common in unmanaged lawns and scrublands, Kyllinga polyphylla is a upright herb with the distinctive leafy bracts surrounding the inflorescence spike at the tip as with all Kyllinga species.

It can be differentiated from other congeners by its larger size in almost any attribute; from height, its inflorescence spikes, broader and longer involucral bracts, with them also in greater numbers (5-8).

Interesting Facts:

The Greater Kyllinga grows in moist fertile soil, and in the full sun (Swarbrick, 1997). It can be checked and suppressed by cultivation, or from vigorous, well-adapted and well-managed grasses.

Clusters of Greater Kyllinga sprouting from an unmanaged lawn.

Upright form of the Greater Kyllinga.

Inflorescence spike with surrounding bracts.

Close-up of the inflorescence.

Triangular stem.



Swarbrick JT (1997) Environmental weeds and exotic plants on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean: a report to Parks Australia. 101 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-11-03