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Scirpus acutus - Muehl. ex Bigelow.

Common Name Hard Stem Bulrush
Family Cyperaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Fresh, calcareous to brackish marshes, shores and pond margins in water up to 1 metre deep[43, 270]. Plants form extensive clumps in the wild[212].
Range N. America - Canada and southwards.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Scirpus acutus Hard Stem Bulrush


Larry Allain @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Scirpus acutus Hard Stem Bulrush
www.fws.gov

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Scirpus acutus is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft 7in) at a fast rate.The seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

S. occidentalis.

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Pollen  Root  Seed
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[62, 161]. Rich in starch, it has been ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread[212]. The roots can be boiled with water and made into a syrup[257]. The roots are usually peeled before being eaten[257]. Pollen[62]. Rich in protein, it can be added to flour when making bread, cakes etc. Seed[62, 257]. Small and fiddly to utilize. White stem bases and tender young shoots - raw or cooked[257]. Harvested in the spring[161], they are crisp and sweet[212]. New shoots form in the autumn and make a welcome snack[212]. The inner portions of the stems can be eaten raw[257].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Haemostatic

The stem pith is haemostatic[257]. A poultice of the pith is placed under a dressing in order to stop the wound bleeding[257]. The roots have been chewed as a preventative to thirst[257].

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Other Uses

Basketry  Paper  Weaving

A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[189]. The fresh stems can be harvested in summer, or dried stems can be used at any time of the year. The stems are split and cut into usable pieces, soaked for 24 hours in clear water and then cooked for 1½ hours with lye. The fibres are then beaten in a blender and can be used to make a beige/brown paper[189]. The stems and leaves are used for weaving or sewing together into hats, mats, mattresses etc[61, 189, 257]. The stems are very durable and take a year or more to decay in the wild[212]. The stems have been used in basket making[257]. The outer surface of the stems has been split and twisted into weft cords and warp[257].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any wet to moisture retentive ground, pond margins and shallow water in full sun or shade[200].

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Propagation

Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in 3cm of water. Only just cover the seed with soil[200]. The seed usually germinates fairly quickly. Prick out the plants when large enough to handle and plant out in their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Scirpus affinis Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNMWeWa20 
Scirpus americanusAmerican BulrushPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNMWeWa20 
Scirpus caldwellii Perennial1.5 -  LMHSNM00 
Scirpus cyperinusWoolly Grass Bulrush, WoolgrassPerennial1.5 6-9  LMHSNMWeWa10 
Scirpus fluviatilisRiver BulrushPerennial2.0 -  LMHSNMWeWa21 
Scirpus lacustrisBulrushPerennial2.5 4-8  LMHSNMWeWa31 
Scirpus litoralisBulrushPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM00 
Scirpus maritimusSeaside Bulrush. Cosmopolitan BulrushPerennial1.0 5-9  LMHNMWeWa31 
Scirpus medianus Perennial2.0 -  LMHSNM00 
Scirpus microcarpusPanicled BulrushPerennial1.5 -  LMHSNMWeWa31 
Scirpus nevadensisNevada BulrushPerennial0.3 -  LMHSNMWeWa20 
Scirpus paludosusBayonet GrassPerennial0.5 -  LMHSNMWeWa20 
Scirpus subterminalisWater BulrushPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNMWeWa20 
Scirpus ternatus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWeWa10 
Scirpus validusRiver Club-RushPerennial1.5 6-9  LMHSNMWeWa21 
Scirpus validus creberSoft-Stem BulrushPerennial1.5 6-9  LMHSNMWeWa21 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Muehl. ex Bigelow.

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