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Plant Database

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Schoenoplectus robustus (Sturdy bulrush)
Cliffe, Harry

Schoenoplectus robustus

Schoenoplectus robustus (Pursh) M.T. Strong

Sturdy bulrush, Leafy Three-square

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Bolboschoenus robustus, Scirpus maritimus var. agonus, Scirpus maritimus var. macrostachyus, Scirpus robustus

USDA Symbol: SCRO5

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

Reddish-tan, ovoid to cylindrical spikelets clustered closely against a sharply triangular stem.

Three-squares are an important group of sedges for wildlife. Their seeds are among the most common foods of ducks and marsh birds. Their stems and roots are eaten by muskrats and geese, and they provide cover for many birds and animals. The larger marsh species Olney Three-square (S. americanus) reaches a height of 10 (3 m); its small spikelets are all gathered along one side of the stalk near the top.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DE , FL , GA , LA , MA , MD , ME , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , PA , RI , SC , TX , VA , VT
Canada: NB , NS
Native Distribution: Maine and Nova Scotia south to Florida and west to Texas.
Native Habitat: Brackish, coastal marshes.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1261 Collected 2009-02-16 in Brazoria County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2010-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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