The “feathery” papyrus plants
Among the waters of the Arethusa spring, you can spot the papyrus plant (Cyperus papyrus): an aquatic plant imported from Egypt.
Papyrus plants are formed of tall, stiff stalks, whose stem appears very hard and woody to the touch.
Inflorescences with a radius from 10 to 30 centimetres stick out from the stems, carrying straw-coloured spikes.
Passing your hand over the dense plant, these numerous threadlike branches appear soft and feathery.
The Syracusan papyrus belongs to one of the many species of “classical” papyrus, the most famous of which was the Egyptian type, long since disappeared from the Nile valley.