Alphabetical Plant Listing

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Softstem Bulrush)

Softstem Bulrush, Soft-Stem Club-Rush, Great Bulrush, Gray Club-Rush, Banded Rush, Porcupine-Quill Rush, Zebra Rush, Schoenoplectus lacustris ssp. creber, Schoenoplectus lacustris ssp. tabernaemontani, Schoenoplectus lacustris ssp. validus, Schoenoplectus validus, Schoenoplectus validus ssp. creber, Schoenoplectus validus ssp. luxurians, Scirpus lacustris ssp. creber, Scirpus lacustris ssp. glaucus, Scirpus lacustris ssp. tabernaemontani, Scirpus lacustris ssp. validus, Scirpus tabernaemontani, Scirpus validus, Scirpus validus var. creber


Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Softstem Bulrush) is a rhizomatous emergent aquatic perennial forming dense stands of narrow erect green stems. The light-green leaves are mostly basal and have wide sheaths around the stems. In spring to summer, terminal sprays of tiny reddish brown flowers arranged in drooping clusters adorn the top of the soft stems. Found throughout much of the world, including most of North America, Softstem Bulrush occurs naturally in wet prairies, non-tidal marshes, swamps, fringes of lakes and ponds, sloughs, freshwater or brackish shorelines, inland shallow waters, mudflats and ditches along railroad and roadside right-of-ways. Softstem Bulrush is a rhizomatous cool season perennial that naturalizes by creeping rhizomes and self-seeding. It spreads, sometimes aggressively, to form dense colonies on shorelines or in shallow water. It is good for habitat reconstruction and erosion control along areas with occasional flooding. Softstem Bulrush is a wonderful plant for the wildlife garden as it provides food and cover for ducks, rails and other wetland wildlife.

  • Grows up to 4-8 ft. tall (120-240 cm) and 3-6 ft. wide (90-180 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in fertile, wet soils, or in water up to 12 in. (30 cm) deep. Tolerates a wide range of salinity.
  • An ornamentally attractive grass to be grown at the edge of a pond or water garden, in boggy areas, in shallow water.
  • Needs little care and has no serious pest or disease issues.
  • In small pools, restrict growth by cutting back the rhizomes annually.
  • Propagate by seed or root division from mid-spring to midsummer.
  • Native to much of the world including most of North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 48" – 72" (120cm – 180cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Matt Lavin, Flickr, Maxal Tamor, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 48" – 72" (120cm – 180cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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