Papyrus is a unique water-loving plant that is native to Egypt, typically growing along the Nile River. They are grassy green plants that can grow up to 3-6′ in our climate (Zone 5-6). They are considered a tropical here, can live in a pond or river but are only considered hardy in zones 8 and 9, which would include Southern Florida, Texas, and California in the United States
The modern word “paper” Is actually derived from the word Papyrus, due to the fact that this plant was used very widely in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece as paper. It was however only grown in Egypt and shipped to other countries. The inside of the stem, or the pith, was cut thinly, laid out, then pressed together with great pressure.
Though this is what the plant is known for, it had many other uses in ancient history. Some of these include furniture, baskets, rope, and even small boats. The plant was also eaten and the ash from burning it was thought to have various medicinal properties.