Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Scirpus pungens Vahl
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This bulrush is distinguished by the cluster of sessile spikelets subtended by a single upright bract that appears like an extension of the stem. The stems are only slightly triangular and the achenes are 1/10-1/8 inch long.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, marshes, around lakes and ponds.
- Habit: Perennial herb with rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, somewhat triangular, up to 3 feet tall, without hairs.
- Leaves: Mostly arising near the base of the plant, elongated, flat or sometimes folded, up to 1/4 inch wide, without hairs.
- Flowers: Borne in 1-6 spikelets, the spikelets sessile and subtended by an upright bract that appears like an extension of the stem; spikelets 1/2-1 inch long, more or less pointed at the tip; bracts up to 6 inches long; scales brown, usually wi
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; styles 2 or 3.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular or triangular, up to 1/8 inch long, with a distinct point at the tip and with 4-6 bristles arising at the base.
- Notes: This species sometimes grows in alkaline habitats. For many years this species has been known as S. americanus, while the real S. americanus has been called S. olneyi. The achenes are an important food source for wate
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