Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Olney's Bulrush (Scirpus americanus)
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-September.
- Field Marks: This bulrush has a single bract that is a continuation of the stem beyond the spikelets. The spikelets do not have stalks.
- Habitat: Along streams, around ponds and lakes, in sloughs, swamps, wet woods, roadside ditches.
- Habit: Perennial herb with rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, triangular, smooth, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long and narrow, without teeth, smooth, up to 1/6 inch broad.
- Flowers: 1 per scale, with several scales in a spikelet, the spikelets acute, up to 1 inch long, in clusters without stalks, with one bract continuing the stem beyond the spikelets; scales ovate, brown, pointed or divided into 2 teeth at tip.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: 1; styles 2; ovary superior, subtended by 2-6 barbed bristles.
- Fruits: Achenes obovate, smooth, dark brown, 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: This sedge is also known as Three Square or Chairmaker's Rush. The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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