Okay, after I grow some flax, I'd like to try papyrus. I guess I can't
grow it as a perennial in Zone 7 but can it be grown as an annual? Will it
grow fast and reach its full potential in my zone or will it not grow
properly at all?
True 'paper' Papyrus is Cyperus papyrus, and it is quite tender, zone
Yes it can be grown as an annual and does quite well. I would say the
summer, the better. It has done well here in zone 9.
There is another plant, Cyperus alternifolius, Umbrella plant, that
is taller and not
so delicate looking as papyrus. The books say 40 degrees is its
hardiness, but it
does fine here into the low 20s. The tops will freeze to the ground at
but it will survive. However I doubt even it would survive zone 7,
unless you move
it inside. Since both plants grow in soil or water, you could keep it
in a container
of water and move it inside.
As far as using it to make paper, well , I don't know?? maybe a note
(When I was in 5th grade, in SoCal, we made paper from papyrus)
Are you going to make linen from the flax?
I think it gets pretty hot and humid here in Indiana although I'm
comparing this area to where I lived previously (Buffalo, NY) and sitting
between two Great Lakes was always pretty comfortable. Sometimes I think
the heat and humidity here is killer. I'm told by folks who know warmer
climates that it's not THAT bad.
I fell in love with the look (and size) of papyrus, ttytt, but that one
is pretty close. The propagation is interesting. The only thing I'm
slightly worried about is the bog conditions both plants like. I guess
I'm going to have to set up a plant pond.
Now that I *would* try. I have been a papermaker in my past and wouldn't
mind trying some papyrus paper. Might be fun. Even if I only got a
teeny bit of paper out of it.
I grow dwarf papyrus in a pot in my outdoor pond but bring it inside in the
winter. Even if it dies back because it is a very cool space, it comes
back. It seems to like being cut back. It's kind of fun to see how the
plant propagates by growing plantlets on its seed heads.
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