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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin

GREEN BULRUSH

(Scirpus atrovirens Willd.)


Green bulrush

SEDGE FAMILY (Cyperaceae)

IND. STATUS: OBL

FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial sedge with stems up to 1.5 m. high. The sturdy stems are roundly triangular with up to 10 stem leaves. Leaves are broad (1-2 cm.), green, and M-shaped. Sheaths are brownish or green and not tinged with red. The terminal inflorescence is subtended by two or more conspicuous spreading modified leaves with flat blades. The inflorescence contains numerous spikelets that are crowded into a dense, nearly spherical head on rays that angle out in different directions.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Green bulrush is a common, short-lived pioneer that is typically found in sedge meadows, but may also be present in shrub-carrs, alder thickets, and fresh (wet) meadows. It seems to increase with disturbance to the peat/muck soils and often invades dredged material sites. It is a frequent colonizer of wetland mitigation sites. Seeds have been known to remain viable for at least 40 years.

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Swink and Wilhelm (1994).


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