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Hardstem Bulrush
Schoenoplectus acutus
  
About Hardstem Bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus) 7 Nurseries Carry This Plant Hardstem Bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus) is a native grass that grows in northern, southern and central California.

Schoenoplectus acutus (Scirpus acutus, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Scirpus lacustris subsp. acutus), called tule, common tule, hardstem tule, tule rush, hardstem bulrush, or viscid bulrush, is a giant species of sedge in the plant family Cyperaceae, native to freshwater marshes all over North America. Tules once lined the shores of Tulare Lake, California, formerly the largest freshwater lake in the western United States, until it was drained by land speculators in the 20th century. The expression "out in the tules" is still common, deriving from the dialect of old Californian families and means "where no one would want to live", with a touch of irony. The phrase is comparable to "out in the boondocks".

It has a thick, rounded green stem growing to 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) tall, with long, grasslike leaves, and radially symmetrical, clustered, pale brownish flowers. Tules at shorelines play an important ecological role, helping to buffer against wind and water forces, thereby allowing the establishment of other types of plants and reducing erosion. Tules are sometimes cleared from waterways using herbicides. When erosion occurs, tule rhizomes are replanted in strategic areas.

The two varieties are:
Schoenoplectus acutus var. acutus - northern and eastern North America
Schoenoplectus acutus var. occidentalis - southwestern North America

It is so common in wetlands in California, several places in the state were named for it, including Tulare (a tulare is a tule marsh). Tule Lake is near the Oregon border and includes Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It was the site of an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII, imprisoning 18,700 people at its peak. The town of Tulelake is northeast of the lake. California also has a Tule River. The Tule Desert is located in Arizona and Nevada. Nevada also has Tule Springs.
California's dense, ground-hugging tule fog is named for the plant, as are the tule elk and tule perch. The giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) was historically closely associated with tule marshes in California's Central Valley.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Grasses

Size
Size
3 - 10 ft tall
3 - 6 ft wide

Form
Form
Rounded, Upright

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown, Cream

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 7 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Keep moist

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -5 - 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow, Standing

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of garden soils as long as sufficient moisture is available. Soil PH: 5 - 8

Common uses
Common uses
Bogs and Ponds

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Marshes and wetlands

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 3.9" - 71.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.95", Coldest Month: 21.7" - 59.8", Hottest Month: 53.2" - 88.4", Humidity: 0.40" - 40.48", Elevation: -13" - 8811"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Scirpus acutus,Scirpus lacustris subsp. acutus


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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