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: Water Bulrush
Scirpus subterminalis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
N. America - Newfoundland to Alaska, south to South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Idaho.
Submerged to emergent in water to 1 metre deep, or sometimes terrestrial, fresh lakes, streams and bogs at elevations of 10 - 2200 metres[
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. This species often forms lawnlike, underwater mats that are entirely vegetative or have only the inflorescences emergent[
]. 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[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. Rich in starch. The plant sometimes forms fleshy terminal tubers up to 3mm thick[
]. The rhizomes are about 1mm thich[
Stem. Peeled and eaten raw or cooked[
Stem base - raw or cooked[
]. Rich in protein, it can be added to flour when making bread, cakes etc.
Seed. A nutty flavour[
]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to harvest and utilize.
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.