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

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (C.C. Gmel.) Palla
soft-stemmed bulrush (softstem bulrush)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #85617)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from long rhizomes; stems nearly round in cross-section, tapered, smooth, easily crushed between the fingers, 50-200 cm tall or more.
All near the base of the stems, few, to about 1/2 the length of the stems; sheaths brown to straw-coloured or mottled brownish, reddish near the base; blades usually lacking or 1 or 2, if present, C-shaped to flattened top to bottom, much shorter than the sheaths, the margins often minutely rough.
Spikes several to numerous, terminal, reddish-brown, 5-12 mm long, in unstalked clusters in a branching inflorescence, or some of them borne singly in compound, compact to open clusters, the branches of the inflorescence lax, sometimes drooping; involucral bracts solitary, rarely more, erect, reduced, not leaflike, thickly C-shaped to nearly circular in cross-section, tapered, with sometimes minutely rough margins, to as much as 7 cm long, appearing like an extension of the stem.
Scales brown to purplish-brown, with numerous, short, red-brown linear marks, (2) 2.5-3 (3.5) mm long, smooth, egg-shaped, the margins entire to somewhat irregular or jagged or short-fringed and short-awned; perianth bristles 6, brown, about equalling to surpassing the achenes; achenes plano-convex, mostly 2-2.3 mm long, not completely concealed by the scales at maturity, abruptly sharp-pointed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Green
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Marshes, lakeshores and streams in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, SC, FL, MS, TX, NM, AZ and CA; C America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

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) 134 840 1320
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 20
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
3 26 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 7 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: BG(13), BWBS(2), CWH(3), ICH(9), IDF(46), MS(9), PP(11), SBPS(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

Schoenoplectus lacustris subsp. creber (Fern.) A.& D. L÷ve
Schoenoplectus lacustris subsp. tabernaemontani (K. C. Gmel.) A.& D. L÷ve
Schoenoplectus lacustris subsp. validus (Vahl) T. Koyama
Schoenoplectus validus (Vahl) A. L÷ve & D. L÷ve
Schoenoplectus validus subsp. creber (Fernald) A. L÷ve & D. L÷ve
Schoenoplectus validus subsp. luxurians (Miq.) Sojßk
Scirpus lacustris subsp. creber (Fern.) T. Koyama
Scirpus lacustris subsp. glaucus (Rchb.) Hartm.
Scirpus lacustris subsp. tabernaemontani (K.C. Gmel.) Syme
Scirpus lacustris subsp. validus (Vahl) T. Koyama
Scirpus lacustris subsp. validus
Scirpus tabernaemontani C.C. Gmel.
Scirpus validus Vahl
Scirpus validus var. creber Fern.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References