Threesquare Bulrush (Scirpus pungens)

Wetland Indicator Status: OBL Other names: Common Threesquare, Three-square Synonym: Schoenoplectus pungens Note: sometimes lumped together with Chairmakers rush (Scirpus americanus)

Schoenoplectus americanus seed head

Spikelet of Three-square bulrush

Threesquare bulrush gets its name from the three sided stems that are triangular in cross-section, and about 3 feet (1 meter) in length.    The shorter nature of this bulrush makes it unable to tolerate deeper water.  Although it is said to have no substrate preference, I find the most densely growing stands growing in sand.  Its triangular stems seem to give it strength to tolerate breaking waves along the shore.  It also grows a little later in the season, which means it will see less high water in spring. Threesquare bulrush is a good for wildlife, for both food and cover.  Along the lake shore pictured below were hundreds of leopard frogs.

Threesquare bulrush bed

Stands of three square bulrush on Lake Puckaway during 2012 drought. Drought is an important part of the life cycle of many bulrush species.

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