Green Bulrush, Scirpus Is A Tall Perennial Herb That Is Quite Long-Lived For Species Of Its Genus
Green bulrush is a tall perennial herb, growing up to five feet high on roundly triangular unbranched, smooth upright stems, known as culms. Not all stems are fertile; non-fertile branches may arch over. The green bulrush is native to most of the United States, except the Southwest region and Florida, and it grows in Canada from Manitoba eastward.
It grows in sedge meadows, alder thickets, and wet meadows, usually with a source of standing water. While the green bulrush grows best in full sun, some shade in hot summer months may suffice. It extends from rhizomatous fibrous roots that spread and form colonies. Since bulrush seeds are viable for up to forty years, they can frequently colonize a disturbed site such as a recently dredged or otherwise mitigated site.
Bulrush, Scirpus leaves Have A Unique Structure With A Slight "M" Shape And A Unique Growth Habit
The leaves are a third of an inch to almost a full inch broad with a slight "M" shape, smooth top but rough margins, and about six to eleven alternate leaves on each stem. Veins run parallel with the blade, and the leaf sheath is a shade of green before transitioning to brownish near the base. The green bulrush's inflorescences are compound cyme terminals that contain several spherical heads (cymules) comprised of many spikelets. The largest of the cymules will have seventeen to over twenty-five stalkless spikelets.
These cymules face different directions, with two or more conspicuous bracts under the inflorescences. These cymules vary in length, with one standing out with its size exceeding that of the inflorescence's, and their bases are green, sometimes with brown spotting on the blades. The individual cymules may have their small bracts. The achenes produced are up to about a millimeter long and half a millimeter wide and, when ripe, are a brown color with bristles attached. These bristles are minuscule and need light for germination, so they should be surface sown. They also need at least sixty days of cold stratification. Sowing in the autumn will take care of that.
Green bulrushes should establish in a sunny area with adequate ventilation. However, the management is quite extensive, but the green bulrush tolerates sowing and plant farming. At the start of spring, gardeners and farmers cut up and divide old plants into several clumps with a sharp knife cluster and some tiny buds as breeding materials. Replanting the bulrush must occur every three to five years to prevent root aging.
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