The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: River Bulrush
Scirpus fluviatilis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
E. Asia to N. America and Australia - New South Wales.
Fresh or brackish marshes and quiet water along streams and lakes, sometimes in water up to 1 metre deep, in western and eastern N. America[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in any wet to moisture retentive ground, pond margins and shallow water in full sun or shade[
The stems are peeled and eaten[
Root - raw or cooked. The roots form tubers at intervals along their length and new plants are formed from these tubers. When first formed, the tubers are white and starchy with a sweet coconut-milk flavour, they become black and woody with age[
]. Tubers can be up to 3cm in diameter[
This plant was ranked 11th in a survey of 250 potential antifertility plants in China[
The roots have been used to form the black part of the basket design[
]. The roots were stained by burying them in the mud with ashes until a black colour was obtained[
Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in 3cm of water. Only just cover the seed with soil[
]. The seed usually germinates fairly quickly. Prick out the plants when large enough to handle and plant out in their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.