Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

(Bulrush, Softstem)


Hardiness Zones:

 10a  10b  4a  4b  5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, commonly called softstem bulrush or great bulrush, is a rhizomatous emergent aquatic perennial of cosmopolitan distribution that typically grows in a variety of wetlands including the margins of ponds/lakes, banks of slow-moving rivers/streams, marshes, fens, bogs, wet prairies, ditches and wet depressions along roadsides and railroad tracks (see Steyermark). It is native to Canada and the U. S. south to South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Great bulrush typically forms a slowly-spreading clump of rush-like stems (culms) to 4-8? tall. Leaf sheaths appear at the base of the stems. Leaf blades are typically absent, but if present are very small (1-4" long). Photosynthesis primarily takes place in the stems. Branched inflorescences (to 6" long) appear at the tips of fertile stem ends in late spring to summer. Each inflorescence contains a compound umbel of brown spikelets each of which contains brownish florets. Each fertile floret gives way to an achene which ripens to gray-brown.

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Best grown in standing water (up to 12? deep) or in wet soils in full sun. Tolerates very light shade. In large water gardens, it may be grown in submerged containers. May also be planted in the mud at the margins of ponds or streams or in bog gardens. Clumps may be divided in spring. Naturalizes by creeping rhizomes, and, if left undisturbed in optimum growing conditions, will spread to form colonies.

Additional information

Common Name

Bulrush, Softstem

Botanical Name

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani


1 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

10a, 10b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-sun, Sun





Soil Condition

Wet Soils

Water Needs


Blooming Period


Flower Color




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


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