Schoenoplectus lacustris subsp. tabernaemontani 'Zebrinus'

Common Name: club rush 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Brown
Sun: Full sun
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Black Walnut, Air Pollution


Best grown in standing water (up to 12” deep) or in wet soils in full sun. Tolerates very light shade. 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Schoenoplectus lacustris, commonly known as bulrush or clubrush, is a grass-like, rhizomatous marginal aquatic perennial of cosmopolitan distribution that grows at the margins of ponds, lakes, slow-moving rivers and streams. It typically forms a slowly-spreading clump of rush-like stems to 5-8’ tall. Minute brownish flowers appear in spikelets at the stem tips in late summer and persist into fall. Leaves turn brown in fall. Some authorities list this subspecies as synonymous with Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani.

Specific epithet means pertaining to lakes. Subspecies name honors Jakob Theodor von Bergzabern (d. 1590) of West Germany. He Latinized his name to Tabernaemontanus.

‘Zebrinus’, commonly called zebra rush or banded bulrush, is a variegated cultivar that is less vigorous than the species. It grows to 5’ tall and features thin, hollow, essentially leafless dark green stems with horizontal yellowish-white bands. Banding is most prominent on new foliage in spring and gradually fades as the summer progresses.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Large water gardens or bog gardens. Edges of ponds or streams. Banding gives foliage a sun-dappled appearance, particularly when back-lit by early morning or late evening sun.