Herb: Galingale

Latin name: Cyperus longus

Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Medicinal use of Galingale:

The root is an aromatic tonic. It was at one time considered to be a good stomachic and useful in the first stages of dropsy, but it has now fallen into disuse.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

August to


Habitat of the herb:

By water in ditches and marshy places.

Edible parts of Galingale:

Tuber - used as a spice in soups, pies and sweets.

Other uses of the herb:

The leaves are used in basketry and for weaving hats, matting etc. The root and stem have the scent of violets and are used in perfumery. The aroma becomes more pronounced when the root has been dried and left to age. A fibre obtained from the plant is used in paper making.

Propagation of Galingale:

Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Division is simple at almost any time of the year, so long as the roots are not allowed to become dry. Plant them out straight into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

By water in ditches and marshy places.

Known hazards of Cyperus longus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.