Hard Stem Bulrush
The Hard Stem Bulrush is a perennial robustly rhizomatous obligate wetland plant.
It reproduces itself by seed and disperses through water and wind while forming dense colonies that establish germinate bare, moist soil. It is a favorite of beavers, muskrats, and waterfowl and is often used for soil stabilization. The plant is sometimes grazed by livestock. It helps to establish vegetation along shorelines due to its buffering effect on lake and pond shorelines.
It has medicinal qualities that the Native American tribes used to stop bleeding or as an edible plant. It's consumable raw, or cooked. The plant was sundried and pounded into flour for use in pancakes or bread. Native Americans also used the Hard Stem Bulrush as a building material by weaving the plants together to form mats and then building frames. It was used to make household items such as bedding, baby diapers, skirts, shoes, duck decoys, and even canoes.
It tolerates fire and regrows well afterward.
The plant provides nesting and escapes cover for a variety of waterfowl and passerines.
Hardy Planting Zone-3-9. Except for some southeastern states, it grows throughout most North America at low to mid-elevation levels, usually along lakes, ponds, reservoirs, meadows, marshes, and swamps.
Bloom Season – A perennial plant with three-sided fruit
Bloom Color – Gray-green to dark-green, the spikelets are gray-brown or grayish.
Height at Maturity – Usually up to 10 and sometimes up to 16.5 feet with round stems up to 2 cm.
Soil Type Preferred - Peat to coarse substrates that will spread on brackish, saline, and alkaline. It will germinate in saturated soil. Young plants will tolerate water depths of up to 5 feet but not for extended periods.
Sun or Shade – The seeds need heat, moisture, and light for germination.