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Bolboschoenus maritimus

Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla

Cosmopolitan Bulrush, Saltmarsh Club-rush, Alkali Bulrush, Prairie Bulrush, Bayonet Grass

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Bolboschoenus paludosus, Schoenoplectus maritimus, Scirpus fernaldii, Scirpus maritimus, Scirpus maritimus var. fernaldii, Scirpus maritimus var. paludosus, Scirpus pacificus, Scirpus paludosus, Scirpus paludosus var. atlanticus

USDA Symbol: BOMA7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), HI (N), CAN (NI)

Saltmarsh Club-rush or Alkali Bulrush is a rhizomatous perennial, 16-60 in. tall. The grass-like leaves have reddish-purple bases. Small, brown, terminal spikes occur in a rounded, compact, terminal cluster. This cluster may be surpassed by additional clusters on short pecuncles. Leafy bracts extend beyond the clusters.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

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


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , HI , IA , ID , IL , KS , LA , MA , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OK , OR , PA , RI , SD , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WY
Canada: BC , NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Scattered throughout temperate N. America; more common along seacoasts
Native Habitat: Marshes; water body margins; wet, alkali & saline meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet, saline or alkaline soil.
Conditions Comments: Plants of w. and c. U.S. often belong to var. paludosus. The more eastern var. maritimus varies only slightly in physical characteristics.


Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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