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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

11. Scirpus L. -- Bulrush

9. Scirpus pendulinus Muhl.


Loosely tufted from short, thick rhizomes; culms obtusely trigonous, to 1.5 m tall, clothed at the base by old leaf bases. Leaves several, scattered on the stem; blades flat, 4-10 mm wide; involucral bracts 3-several, reduced but foliaceous, shorter than the inflorescence, pale brown at the base. Inflorescence umbellate, rather open, with several to many primary branches, 1 or 2 lateral inflorescences sometimes produced below the terminal one, ultimate branches with 1 sessile and few-several pedicellate spikelets, mostly nodding at the tips; spikelets numerous, ovoid to mostly oblong-cylindric, 4-10 mm long, 2-3.5 mm thick, blunt-tipped; scales reddish-brown on the sides with a prominent green midrib, elliptic-ovate, 1.5-2.7 mm long, including the short-awned to cuspidate tip; perianth bristles 6, smooth, much contorted, brownish, longer than the achene but barely, if at all, extended beyond the scale; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes tan to light brown, trigonous, ellipsoid to obovoid, 1-1.3 mm long, apiculate. Jun--Aug. Marshes, wet meadows, stream banks and ditches; rare, ne SD, e and se NE; (ME to MN and SD, s to FL, TX, NM and into n Mex.; also reportedly OR and CA). S. lineatus Michx., S. pendulus Muhl.
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Scirpus pallidus (Britt.) Fern. -- Pale bulrush
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
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