Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 S US Hwy 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Scirpus cyperinus

Marsh Bulrush

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Scirpus cyperinus (Marsh Bulrush)

Marsh Bulrush, sometimes called "Woolgrass," is not really a grass, even though it looks like one.

Marsh Bulrush is closely related to sedges, plants known for growing in wet areas such as marshes, lake shores, ponds, wet woods and ditches.

Marsh Bulrush grows up to six feet tall. It has leaf blades up to three feet long and nearly an inch wide. Leaf blades have rough edges and fold over at the tip.

Marsh Bulrush is most easily recognized by its flowers and fruits. The flowers are large, reddish-brown and shaggy. They droop in clusters, and each cluster is made of many small spikelets about 1/4 inch long. Plants bloom from June to September. Later, fruits replace the flowers and contain seeds which give it the "wooly" look.

Seeds are eaten by many waterfowl and small mammals, like muskrats.

Additional Information:

-6 Feet


3-4 Feet


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

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), Hardstem Bulrush (Scirpus acutus), Olney's Bulrush (Scirpus americana), Green Bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation




Season of Interest

Late (July-frost)
Mid (May-June)

Soil Moisture


Special Uses


Sun Exposure

Full Sun

USFS MO Ecological Map

Wildlife Benefit

Food/Small Animals