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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Scirpus cyperinus (Woolgrass)
Loos, Peter

Scirpus cyperinus

Scirpus cyperinus (L.) Kunth

Woolgrass, Cottongrass bulrush, Marsh bulrush, Teddybear paws

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Scirpus cyperinus var. condensatus, Scirpus cyperinus var. eriophorum, Scirpus cyperinus var. laxus, Scirpus cyperinus var. pelius, Scirpus cyperinus var. rubricosus, Scirpus eriophorum, Scirpus rubricosus

USDA Symbol: SCCY

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Cottongrass bulrush or wool grass is a densely-tufted, clump-forming perennial, 3-6 ft. high, with an erect stem that is leafy up to the flower cluster. Many brown, woolly bristles surround the nutlets giving the cluster of spikelets in the terminal inflorescense a fuzzy appearance. A compound umbel, made up of many spikelets on branching rays, is at the top of a triangular or nearly round stem and is surrounded by spreading green, leaflike bracts; spikelets wooly in fruit.

This is one of several important species of wetland plants, many of them emergents, that provide food and cover for waterfowl and other wildlife. Nearly 30 species of Scirpus occur in eastern North America.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Size Notes: 3 to 5 feet
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers in 6 to 12 inch clusters
Fruit: Brown to Yellow-brown
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: BC , NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Sask., s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Wet meadows & swamps

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Wet soil to standing water.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: The unusual flowers are attractive in moist gardens.
Use Wildlife: Seeds eaten by waterfowl. Roots eaten by muskrats and geese. Provides cover for nesting birds.
Use Other: Good for erosion control when planted en masse. Bulrush forms a buffer against wind and wave action, thus permitting other aquatic plants to grow in an otherwise unfavorable environment.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Scirpus cyperinus is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Dion Skipper
(Euphyes dion)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL FACW OBL OBL OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Scirpus cyperinus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scirpus cyperinus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scirpus cyperinus

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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