The scientific name of yellow nutsedge means 'abundant edible sedge'. Tubers have a mild, starchy taste, slightly reminiscent of almonds. Ancient wall paintings from Egypt indicate that this plant was cultivated as early as 400 BC. It is still grown in the Spanish-Mediterranean region, where tubers are used to make a nonalcoholic beverage.
Pigs are reported to be very fond of the starchy tuber.
A Wisconsin field was reported to have up to 35,200,000 yellow nutsedge tubers per acre.
Four weedy varieties and one cultivated variety of yellow nutsedge are currently recognized.
An African variety called chufa (Cyperus esculentus var. sativas) is grown in the southeastern U.S. for its edible tubers.
Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus), a related species, grows 10 feet tall and was used in Ancient Egypt for making paper.