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16245 S US Hwy 71
Belton, MO 64012
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Scirpus acutus

Hardstem Bulrush

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Scirpus acutus (Hardstem Bulrush)

Hardstem and Softstem Bulrushes are tall, stout, perennial plants with round, olive green stems, drooping brown flower clusters near the stem tips, and a few inconspicuous leaves at the stem bases. Both species are commonly seen in marshes and along shorelines in water up to four feet deep. Bulrushes (also called tules) are important food and habitat plants for waterfowl and aquatic mammals. These two species are very similar in appearance.

Additional Information:
Native Americans used roots, pollen, and flowering spikes as food. Stems were used to construct baskets, mats, temporary shelters, and other household items. Provides food, cover, and nesting habitat for waterfowl and other birds. Currently used for bank stabilization and to treat contaminated water.

2-8 Feet


-3 Feet


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-6

Home Owner Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Good Companions
Needle Spike Rush (Eleocharis acicularis), Blunt Spike Rush (Eleocharis obtusa), Creeping Spike Rush (Eleocharis palustris), Small's Spike Rush (Eleocharis smallii), Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation




Season of Interest

Late (July-frost)

Soil Moisture


Sun Exposure

Full Sun

USFS MO Ecological Map

Wildlife Benefit

Food/Small Animals