Alphabetical Plant Listing

Sparganium americanum (American Bur-Reed)

American Bur-Reed


Sparganium americanum (American Bur-Reed) is an emergent, grass-like, aquatic perennial with stiffly upright, narrow, slightly channeled leaves to 36 in. long (90 cm). In summer to early fall, zig-zag stalks appear in the leaf axils. They boast large ball-shaped flower clusters, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), packed with tiny green flowers becoming brown and bur-like later. The seed-like fruit are bent and grow within the bur-like heads of the female flower cluster. The seeds are eaten by waterfowl and marsh birds, and muskrats feed on the entire plant. Native to North America, American Bur-Reed occurs naturally in shallow water, muddy shores, swamps and ponds. Partly in and partly out of the water, it often forms dense stands along the edges of shallow lakes and ponds. Spreading rapidly through its underground root systems, it has the ability to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wetlands. This moisture-loving plant is an excellent choice for a water garden, wetland garden or near ponds and streams.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to light shade in continually moist to wet, loamy, sandy or clay soils. Will grow in low marsh and shallow water, surviving in water up to 12 in. deep (30 cm).
  • A good choice for plantings in bog gardens, rain gardens or near ponds and streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Native to North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project, flickr, Mirofoss, 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 3 – 9
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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