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

Isolepis cernua (Vahl) Roem. & Schult.
low clubrush (low bulrush)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeff Bertoia  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #32483)

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Distribution of Isolepis cernua
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Species Information

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Annual, tufted herb; stems numerous, slender, 3-20 (35) cm tall.
One to few near the bases, variously developed in different plants, sometimes with normal sheaths and blades; blades elongate, slender, up to as long as the stem, sometimes the lower ones reduced to scales, the uppermost ones with sheaths and very short blades.
Spikes solitary, appearing terminal or subterminal, often set at an angle to the stems, several- to many-flowered, 2-5.5 mm long; involucral bracts solitary, conspicuous, appearing merely as enlarged scales with broad, blunt awn tips, about 1 mm long or leaf like and up to about 1 cm long, nearly equal to or surpassing the spikes.
Scales numerous, often reddish-tinged, obscurely to evidently nerved with fine parallel lines mostly 1.2-2 mm long, the midribs tending to be enlarged, greenish or pale, often very shortly exserted as minute tips; perianth bristles lacking, but the filaments sometimes persisting and appearing like slender, flattened bristles; achenes broad, 3-angled, pale reddish-brown, dull, smooth, 1 mm long or less, with more or less abruptly, sharp-pointed tips.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Marshes, tidal flats and beaches in the lowland zone; frequent in SW BC, rare northward along the coast; S to TX and CA; cosmopolitan, Eurasia, S America, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Isolepis cernua

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 518 652 725
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 60
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
30 102 174
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1), CDF(1), MH(1), SBS(1)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Scirpus cernuus Vahl p.p.
Scirpus cernuus subsp. californicus (Torr.) Thorne
Scirpus cernuus var. californicus (Torr.) Beetle

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References