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Big Bulrush
Bolboschoenus robustus

About Big Bulrush (Bolboschoenus robustus) Bolboschoenus robustus is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family. It is known by many common names: saltmarsh bulrush, alkali bulrush, sturdy bulrush, seacoast bulrush, stout bulrush, three-cornered sedge or leafy three-cornered sedge, and seaside club-rush. B. robustus is native to North America, where it can be found along the eastern and southern coasts from Nova Scotia south to Florida and along the Gulf coastline to Tabasco. It is also known in California, Bermuda, the Bahamas and northern South America. It is most often a coastal species, occurring in wet habitat such as marshes in brackish and saltwater. It is a perennial herb growing from a rhizome system with associated tubers. The erect stems are three-angled, the angles rough with short hairs. They reach well over a meter in maximum height. The leaves sheath the stem and have long, flat or v-shaped blades. The inflorescence bears one or more clusters of many spikelets as well as long, leaflike bracts.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 5 ft (1 - 1.5 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type


Elevation ?
-213' - 2059'

Annual Precip. ?
2.9" - 47.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 1.16"

Coldest Month ?
44.2° F - 60.1° F

Hottest Month ?
57.5° F - 89.4° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 43.66 vpd


Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Store in water in refrigerator at 35° to 39°F 6 mos., then germinate in water at 86° to 89.8°F in continuous high light (180-200 foot candles) (Isely 1944)

Common uses
Bogs and Ponds

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Scirpus robustus

Common Names
Alkali Bulrush, Saltmarsh Bulrush, Seacoast Bulrush, Sturdy Bulrush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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