Scirpus atrovirens

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: green bulrush 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Green maturing to brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Wet Soil


Easily grown in moist to wet soils including shallow standing water in full sun to part shade. Prefers some light shade in hot summer climates. In large water gardens, it may be grown in submerged containers. May also be planted in the mud at the margins of ponds or streams or in bog gardens. Clumps may be divided in spring. Naturalizes by creeping rhizomes, and, if left undisturbed in optimum growing conditions, will spread to form colonies. Will self-sow in the landscape. New plants are best started in spring or fall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scirpus atrovirens, known as common bulrush, is a grass-like, rhizomatous marginal aquatic perennial that is native to moist meadows, bogs, stream/river/lake margins, sloughs, roadside ditches and wet depressions in Eastern and Central North America. It typically forms a slowly-spreading clump of upright stems (culms) to 4-5’ tall. Grasslike leaves (6-11 blades per culm) are broad (to 3/4" wide), linear and yellow green to dark green with rough edges. Culms are topped in late spring with dark green spikelets that are clustered into spherical heads. Spikelets mature to brown by mid-summer and remain attractive well into fall. Foliage turns yellow-brown in fall.

Genus name is an old Latin name for this plant.

Specific epithet means dark green.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Large water gardens or bog gardens. Edges of ponds or streams. Moist low spots.