This herbaceous perennial is native to North America where it is found in wet lands such as marshes, low meadows, pond and stream edges, and drainage ditches. In spite of the common name bullrush, it is not a rush but a sedge. Sedges can be distinguished from similar looking rushes and grasses by their stems that are triangular in cross section and their leaves that are spirally arranged in three ranks. Green bulrush has unbranched culms (stems) bearing up to eight linear, alternate leaves about one and a half inch long. The leaves are dark to yellowish green and tend to be floppy. Terminal inflorescences are produced on fertile culms in early to mid- summer and consist of spikelets that form irregular masses of small flowers that are greenish at first but turn chocolate brown with maturity. Tiny one seeded fruits with 5-6 bristles follow the flowers. Green bulrush is a cool weather plant and grows best in spring and fall, forming colonies by means of the rhizomatious fibrous root system. It is an excellent choice for the wettest part of a rain garden and provides important food and cover for waterfowl, songbirds, shorebirds and muskrats.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Clusters of small greenish to brown flowers in mid to late summer
Size: 2-5′ H
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, wet
Care: Low maintenance
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed, division
Companion Plants: Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Blue vervain (Verbena hastata), Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), swamp goldenrod (Solidago patula).