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
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
Pricing & Availability
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontaniAlso known as:
Schoenoplectus validus, Scirpus tabernaemontani, Scirpus validus
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.
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.
Easily propagated by division. Freshly collected seeds should be sown immediately in a saturated medium. Germination is rapid.
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
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
|Species||Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani||softstem bulrush|