E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Bolboschoenus fluviatilis (Torr.) Soják
river bulrush
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Bolboschoenus fluviatilis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from rhizomes and also tubers from the stem-base, the tubers 2.5-3 cm thick; stems 100-200 cm tall.
Leaves several, well-developed; sheaths reaching well above the middle of the stems; blades flat or nearly so, 6-15 (18) mm wide, up to 40 cm long.
Spikes mostly 10 to 50, terminal, brown, 1.2-2.5 cm long, 6-10 mm wide, egg-shaped to spindle-shaped, pointed or nearly so, several of them in compact, terminal clusters, the others borne singly or in small clusters at the ends of several mostly lax branches that are 3-7 cm long; involucral bracts several, conspicuous, elongate, very unequal, some of them leaflike and much longer than the inflorescence.
Scales numerous, brown, minutely stiff short-hairy on the backs, awned, the awns short, more or less flexuous from tapering or notched tips; perianth bristles well-developed, stiff, minutely and finely-barbed backwards, variable, often equalling the achenes; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, dull grey-brown, mostly 3.5-5 mm long, half as wide, abruptly sharp-pointed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Marshes, streamsides and lakeshores in the lowland and steppe zones; rare in SW and SC BC, known only from Osoyoos Lake and Hesquiat on Vancouver Island; amphiberingian, E to PQ and NB and S to ME, MA, PA, VA, AL, MO, OK, NM, AZ and, CA; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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