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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Scirpus atrovirens (Green bulrush)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Scirpus atrovirens

Scirpus atrovirens Willd.

Green Bulrush, Dark Green Bulrush

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)


USDA Symbol: scat2

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

A sedge with stems to 5 ft. Leaves are grass-like but broad. The terminal inflorescence contains many spikelets that are crowded into dense, nearly spherical heads on rays that angle out in different directions.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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: Dark Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CT , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: BC , NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: S. Que. to Sask. & ID, s. to GA, TN & LA
Native Habitat: Meadows; bogs; lake borders

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Short-lived. Bulrush forms a buffer against wind and wave action, thus permitting other aquatic plants to grow in an otherwise unfavorable environment.


Use Wildlife: Provides important food and cover for waterfowl, songbirds, shorebirds and muskrats.
Attracts: Birds


Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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