Chufa, Tigernut, Ermandeln, Tigernuss, Noix Tigrée, Souchet

Although cultivated by humans, the tigernut, Cyperus esculentus L., is also to be found growing wild. Considered a warm-climate plant, it is found in tropical or warm zones throughout the world, although is has also been located in cold regions, such as Alaska (Holm et Al, 1977).

Cyperus Sculentus Lativum

Georg Kükenthal, a German botanist who dedicated his life to the study of plants belonging to the Carex genus, distinguished up to eight different botanical varieties of Cyperus esculentus L. Nowadays, however, only four wild varieties (esculentus, leptostachyus, macrostachyus and hermanii) and one cultivated variety, sativus, are recognised. There are, therefore, two groups of plants with a similar morphology and which are known by the same name, although their behaviour is very different: one is a crop and the other is an adventitious flora.

History of the Tigernut / Chufa


Tigernuts have been cultivated by man for many centuries, with evidence of the same having been found in the sarcophagus and tombs of the early Egyptian dynasties, leading us to believe that they were highly-appreciated in an age in which people buried their dead with belongings that where meant to provide enjoyment in the after-life.

Cultivation of the plant was extended from Egypt through North Africa, before reaching the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily with the influx of Islamic culture during the Middle Ages (13th century). Islamic culture was also responsible for the expansion of the cultivation of tigernuts in the Mediterranean areas of the Valencia Region, as well as for the introduction of revolutionary techniques that were, at the time, far ahead of those employed in the agricultural sector.

Botanical Description of the Tigernut / Chufa


It is an herbaceous plant, evergreen, with long leaves usually measuring between 35 and 60 cm, although occasionally measuring up to 90 cm. Rough to the touch, the leaves are parallel-nerved, sheathed and folded over their central axis. The foliar margins are full and smooth, green to the light and dark on the reverse.

Tigernuts Flower

The tigernut belongs to the Cyperaceae, sub-family Escripoidea, genre Cyperus, species esculentus, botanical variety sativus.

The scapes, which have a triangular section and measure between 60 and 80 cm in length, are capped with a cluster of flowers (inflorescence) which may be defined as an umbel panicle of ears, measuring some 15-25 cm in length and from whose base stem 7 radiuses. The pointed ears, which measure some 1.5 to 3 mm in length, have a straw-like aspect and posses various flowers arranged in two rows. The flowers are small and petaled. Pollination is anemophilic.

The roots are leafy, relatively short and measure approximately 1mm in diameter.  They possess rhizomes, at the extremes of which tubers (tigernuts) form. The tubers may be spherical, oviform or elongated. They have a more or less dark tone are have 4-6 transverse lines, which are known as nodes.

Valencia, Spain

Directly from the grower

Chufas directly from Valencia, Spain.

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Some of the products of Tigernuts Traders

Chufas peladas
Harina de chufas
Horchata de chufas
Aceite de Chufas
Carpas y Chufas