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Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

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Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Sedges, Wetland Grasses, Ornamental Grasses

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: high

Soil Moisture: wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, average, poor, clay, sand

Height: 4'-10'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: red

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, bog plant, clumping, colonizing, edible, emergent, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, salt tolerant, showy fruit, swamp plant, wetland plant

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush)
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush)
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush)
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush)
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

Also known as:

softstem bulrush

,

great bulrush

,

soft-stemmed bulrush

,

common bulrush

,

giant bulrush

,

bull whip

,

soft-stem club-rush

Scientific Synonyms:

Schoenoplectus validus, Scirpus tabernaemontani, Scirpus validus

Description

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani is an elegant, exceptionally tall wetland grass that can reach a height of 10'. The green stems (known as culms) are 1/3" thick at the base, tapering off over their length, and slightly arched. The modified leaves, form long sheaths that tightly wrap around the bases of the culms. The flowers are red and rather insignificant. These give way to showy, drooping clusters of ovoid, inch long brown seedheads.

Cultivation

Sofstem bulrush is an emergent grass that requires wet soil at all times. It can be found in wet, soggy prairies, and can also withstand permanent inundation in up to 12" of water. It is tolerant of a wide range of salinity, and seems to do better in brackish water than in freshwater. It has low fertility requirements, and does well in average, poorly-drained soil. It is shade intolerant and should be placed in an area with full to part-sun. The strong, fibrous root system provides excellent erosion control and a good buffer against wave action, though the tall stems can get damaged under these conditions. The plants can provide a stunning visual presence around a pond or water garden. Keep in mind that this species grows rapidly and can spread aggressively. It is best kept in containers if used in small areas. This species a broad distribution and will tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from zone 2 to 10.

Propagation

Easily propagated by division. Freshly collected seeds should be sown immediately in a saturated medium. Germination is rapid.

Additional Notes

Seeds will provide food for some waterfowl, and plant colonies will provide good shelter for nesting sites. Both the dried leaves and stalks have been used for weaving. The roots are edible and were used as a food source by some native Americans tribes.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Cyperaceae Sedge family
Genus Schoenoplectus bulrush
Species Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani softstem bulrush