Softstem Bulrush Schoenoplectus validus
Synonyms: Scirpus validus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
Plant Family: Sedge, Cyperaceae
Wetland Indicator Status OBL
Softstem bulrush shares most of the characteristics and biology as its close cousin Hardstem bulrush Schoenoplectus acutus. They share the same reproductive cycle, history of human use, and growth requirements, but Softstem Bulrush tends to do a bit better in more mucky substrates, and Hardstem does better in more windswept parts of lakes. Softstem Bulrush’s stems are thicker, taller, have larger pore spaces, and softer than Hardstem Bulrush (hence the name) and are easy to crush between fingers. The two species are difficult to tell apart. Soon I will have some photos showing the differences in stems and seeds (achenes).