Papyrus: Tall Grass On-Trend

Ornamental grasses have become the eco-friendly standard for residential lawns in the United States. One of the biggest sources of non-point pollution in the United States is our lawns (i.e., fertilizer runoff during storms).

They are also prized for their unsurpassed textures and structural qualities. Ornamental grasses add beauty, noise, and movement to the garden and landscape. And this kinematic design layer reads as ‘living entourage’ in the landscape.

Fig 1- Papyrus are used here in planted containers, for an even more structured look and minimal environmental impact. Building and landscape design by Make Architecture.

On-trend currently are Papyrus – characterized by their long, gracefully arching stems that can reach 6-10’ in height. Topping the stems are fibrous sprays that form soft globular crowns (isomorphic to the human head).

Fig. 1-  Cyperous Papyrus can reach up to 6-10 feet in length. 3D Model of Papyrus in four different variations by Alan Fraser – FormFonts 3D.

Water-loving Papyrus grows well in standing water, but can also tolerate relatively dry soils. This makes it a particularly versatile planting that can be used in water features, aquatic gardens, rain gardens, dry riverbeds, and even planters.

Fig 3 –  King Tut Papyrus used here in a water garden/feature designed by Bercy Chen Studios, of Austin Texas.

In short – Papyrus are supremely versatile. They are unfailingly good company in sun or shade, and can be planted in standing water or dry soil types with care.


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