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Common Name: Seaside Bulrush
Scirpus maritimus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Found in most regions of the world, including Britain, but absent from the Arctic.
Along the seashore, in shallow water of tidal rivers, also in ditches and ponds near the sea, avoiding shady positions[
Succeeds in any wet to moisture retentive ground, pond margins and shallow water in full sun or shade[
Root - raw or cooked. Rich in starch, it is usually dried and ground into a powder[
]. 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 2.5cm in diameter[
Seed - cooked[
]. They can be ground into a powder and used as a mush[
The root is astringent and diuretic[
]. It is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, abdominal pain or tumours for post-partum females, abdominal distension and indigestion[
The leaves are used in weaving and basketry[
]. The leaves have been used to secure the edges of woven mats, as the warp for sandals, as the warps and twining wefts for clothing, to secure the edges of skirts etc[
]. They have been used to make twined mats for the insides of houses[
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.