Scirpus validus Vahl var. creber Fern. - Great Bulrush


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Scirpus validus - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Cyperaceae


Marshes. Shallow water of ponds and streams. Muddy shores


In shallow water with Polygonum hydropiperoides, Pontederia cordata, Ranunculus longirostris. On muddy shores with Lippia lanceolata, Ludwigia polycarpa, Mimulus ringens, Penthorum sedoides.


Widespread in temperate North America and south into tropical America.


Herbaceous perennial. Leaves lacking. Culms terete, green, spongy and easily compressed; bract subtending inflorescence solitary, erect, resembling the culm, and appearing to be an extension of it. Spikelets ovoid, mostly less than twice as long as broad, usually less than 10 mm long, usually more than 10, many of them pedunculate; stigmas 2; perianth bristles 4-6; panicles branches stiff; scales darker, usually reddish-brown, either viscid or pubescent or both.. Achenes plano-convex.


Flowers late May to late August

Wetland indicator: Obligate

Also known as Softstem Bulrush, this species is easy to identify by the round, leafless stems that are easily crushed between the fingers. Scirpus acutus Muhl. is similar but has stems that are less easily collapsed and is commonly known as Hardstem Bulrush.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005